URACCAN community radios as agents of social change for indigenous peoples and ethnic communities
The activity was organized from the direction of the UNESCO Chair of URACCAN, in celebration of the 26th Anniversary of this institution and the 33 years of Regional Autonomy.
Ricardo Guzmán

Laying the epistemological foundations of the intercultural communication paradigm

With the academic rigorousness that characterizes him and applying various approaches and theoretical currents to support his doctoral thesis, Master Yulmar Montoya, director of the Institute of Intercultural Communication (ICI) of URACCAN, presented this morning a significant advance of it, through the webinar entitled "Intercultural communication and its relationship with social change through the role of community radios of the Nicaraguan Caribbean."

This topic was consolidated by its author and thought of as a scientific article to be published soon in one of the specialized journals indexed to the Scopus or JCR databases. This, as a requirement of the Doctorate in Strategic Communication, Advertising and Public Relations, which Montoya studies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.

The chapter presented by the director of the ICI aroused great intellectual interest among the audience and featured the brilliant exchanges of the PhD. Joan Pedro Carañana, the MSc. Lazarus Figueroa and the MSc. Gilberto Artola, who are experts in community radios. There were also great contributions from Dr. Ma Cruz Tornay Márquez, who has extensive experience in community communication issues, indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants.

The novel chapter developed by Montoya addresses and applies the theory of social change from sociohistorical approaches (1), to explain the problems with which indigenous peoples carry from the process of English colonization on the Caribbean Coast to the present day; (2), through which it analyses the emergence of strong social conflicts and the formation of social movements within that territory; psychological (3), through which he interprets the common motivations of Caribbean society, which are constituted in their group identity and mark a great commitment to their causes.

These critical approaches are applied by the URACCAN researcher in specific cases on the Caribbean Coast, to understand the needs of indigenous and Afro communities in terms of health issues, education, territory usurpation, discrimination, exclusion, racism, all marked by the state centralization in the Pacific of Nicaragua and neglect to these regions that, although they have national and international laws that promote their rights , experience major structural and systemic deficiencies.

At this point, the director of the ICI highlights the role that URACCAN community radio plays in the social change of Caribbean peoples, as they have positioned themselves as a space for dialogue and concertation between the different actors involved (community, leaders, rulers, institutions, organizations, companies, etc.) for the search for solutions to their main problems.

In this vital Community work, the approach of intercultural communication, which determines the special approach of the specific cases of the Autonomous Regions, as well as their prospects for development with identity, which entails the defense of their rights and the promotion of their culture, languages and traditions, is fundamental.

An example, according to its author, is the case of the community of Awas Tingni which, in the face of the deafness of the State of Nicaragua, was assisted by international legal instruments to defend its territories, which had been granted to a foreign company to exploit its timber resources. This was an emblematic case for indigenous peoples in Latin America.

In short, this seminar was highly enriching, so much so that it generated a deep academic exchange. In this regard, Dr. Joan praised the novelty of this research, which focuses on diagnosing and solving the problems of Nicaragua's Caribbean communities, where social change is imperative and under construction. It is therefore "not what should be done, what is desired, but what is being done" from the community social extension of URACCAN through its broadcasters.