Somewhere to the south of us, an indigenous farmer is raising his voice against the eradication of ancient seed stocks by corporate interests. An army of volunteer gardeners is sowing a food security system on rooftops, patios and abandoned lots. A tribe in the Amazon is using Google Earth to give virtual tours of its ancestral forests in a bid to build global support for their preservation. A troupe of young bicyclists is plotting colorful new ways to capture the public’s attention and steer its city policy toward the path of sustainability.
As forests burn, icecaps melt and sea levels rise, people at the grassroots aren’t waiting for the government to fix things for them. Nowhere is this more evident than in Latin America.
We in the United States hear little of this, as our news sources dedicate very little ink to the work of world changers at the local level, and even less to those of the Global South. The Esperanza Project seeks to shift this balance with a focused look at the eco-heroes who are dedicating their imaginations, their passions and in some cases their very lives to the cause of a sustainable future.
Next week, I’ll begin a yearlong journey aimed at bringing the work of some of these unsung heroes to light. By sharing their stories, I hope to inspire a greater sense of the global nature of our struggle. My goal is to help shift the media imbalance that favors the North over the South, the powerful over the powerless, the sensational and catastrophic over the constructive and gradual, and the large over the small.
This will be accomplished on many levels, from The Esperanza Project website itself, to the ripple effect created by training a network of volunteer contributors and giving them a platform on which to publish. Meanwhile my own writing will target US audiences in a variety of media.
None of this, of course, occurs without dinero. The Esperanza Project has incorporated as a nonprofit organization and we are seeking funding and sponsors. This process takes time, however, and the expenses have already begun to mount.
I am writing to you as 2009 draws to a close to ask you to consider making a tax-deductible contribution to our cause. The Esperanza Project is a low-budget operation run on volunteer energy and passion, so you can be sure that your money will be used with extreme care and frugality.
Now’s the time that nonprofit media can step in to fill the growing void formed by dying newspapers, and it can do so in a creative and meaningful way, but it will require support from its readers. Be a part of The Esperanza Project – we promise we will make you proud.
Tracy L. Barnett and The Esperanza Project volunteers
P.S. Whether or not you contribute financially, there is much you can do to support The Esperanza Project. Learn more at www.TheEsperanzaProject.org/about and www.TheEsperanzaProject.org/get-involved.
Thanks for reading!
Contribute by clicking on the PayPal button below to enter your credit card or bank account number, or send a check or money order to Tracy L. Barnett, 161 Lovera Ave., San Antonio, Texas, 78212, with “Esperanza Project” in the memo field. Thank you!
digital media digital nomads environment Latin America new media nonprofit media Sustainability The Esperanza Project