Научная статья на тему 'Media literacy for woman’s empowerment. A case study with groups of Honduran indigenous and rural women in vulnerable situation'

Media literacy for woman’s empowerment. A case study with groups of Honduran indigenous and rural women in vulnerable situation Текст научной статьи по специальности «СМИ (медиа) и массовые коммуникации»

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Аннотация научной статьи по СМИ (медиа) и массовым коммуникациям, автор научной работы — Camarero E., Varona-Aramburu D.

This investigation analyzes the impact of a media literacy project implemented with groups of rural and/or indigenous women, mostly of the Lenca ethnic group, in the departments of La Paz, Ocotepeque and Lempira, in one of the poorest regions of Honduras. The objectives of this project were to reduce their vulnerability through media literacy and increase their capacity to raise awareness and to apply good practices in their communities regarding food security, agricultural productivity, marketing of their products, gender leadership and affirmation of indigenous culture. The results indicate that this type of media education in non-formal contexts advances social change and improves job opportunities and the empowerment of vulnerable groups, which helps to reduce poverty. Both the data collected through in-depth interviews with training participants and the subsequent follow-up confirm that media literacy in non-formal educational environments allows women to acquire skills enable them to boost their presence both in their municipalities and in digital contexts, shed light on their problem areas, develop the concept of indigenous culture, reduce their productive vulnerability and improve their socioeconomic situation through the use of accessible communication tools.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Media literacy for woman’s empowerment. A case study with groups of Honduran indigenous and rural women in vulnerable situation»

Copyright © 2019 by Academic Publishing House Researcher s.r.o.

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Published in the Slovak Republic Media Education (Mediaobrazovanie) Has been issued since 2005 ISSN 1994-4160 E-ISSN 1994-4195 2019, 59(3): 367-380

DOI: 10.13187/me.2019.3.367 www.ejournal53.com

Media Literacy for Woman's Empowerment. A Case Study with Groups of Honduran Indigenous and Rural Women in Vulnerable Situation

Emma Camarero a , *, D. Varona-Aramburu a

a University Loyola Andalucía, Spain


This investigation analyzes the impact of a media literacy project implemented with groups of rural and/or indigenous women, mostly of the Lenca ethnic group, in the departments of La Paz, Ocotepeque and Lempira, in one of the poorest regions of Honduras. The objectives of this project were to reduce their vulnerability through media literacy and increase their capacity to raise awareness and to apply good practices in their communities regarding food security, agricultural productivity, marketing of their products, gender leadership and affirmation of indigenous culture. The results indicate that this type of media education in non-formal contexts advances social change and improves job opportunities and the empowerment of vulnerable groups, which helps to reduce poverty. Both the data collected through in-depth interviews with training participants and the subsequent follow-up confirm that media literacy in non-formal educational environments allows women to acquire skills enable them to boost their presence both in their municipalities and in digital contexts, shed light on their problem areas, develop the concept of indigenous culture, reduce their productive vulnerability and improve their socioeconomic situation through the use of accessible communication tools.

Keywords: media literacy, indigenous rural woman, gender, non-formal education, media education.

1. Introduction

To what extent can media and audio-visual literacy be an effective tool to combat inequality and help empower vulnerable groups in social environments marked by poverty? This is the premise of our work in different Latin American countries since 2011 to understand if education media makes sense as a tool to produce effective social changes, even in disparate groups with little or no knowledge of the digital environment and enormous difficulties in accessing information.

This investigation analyzes the impact of a media literacy project implemented with groups of rural and/or indigenous women, mostly of the Lenca ethnic group, in the departments of La Paz, Ocotepeque and Lempira, in one of the poorest regions of Honduras. The objectives of this project were to reduce their vulnerability through media literacy and increase their capacity to raise awareness and to apply good practices in their communities regarding food security, agricultural productivity, marketing of their products, gender leadership and affirmation of indigenous culture.

* Corresponding author

E-mail addresses: ecamarero@uloyola.es (E. Camarero)


2. Materials and methods

Honduras is the second poorest country in the Americas. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), in 2016, 60.9 % of Hondurans lived in poverty, and of them, 38.4 % in extreme poverty. The main problem in Honduras is therefore to overcome inequality and poverty, which severely affects children and women. These figures are higher in the western region, where most indigenous live, affecting 60% of rural areas and 76 % of the population, mostly ethnic Lenca.

The ETEA Foundation for Development and Cooperation has been working in Honduras on projects that aim to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the population, especially groups such as women and indigenous. They orient their work through 2 main projects: "Food security, management of water and forest resources, and improvement of agricultural in Honduras," financed by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, and "Inclusion of the Lenca Indigenous People in processes of advocacy and local economic development in 7 municipalities of the Department of La Paz, with support from the La Denominación de Origen Café Marcala and its strategic allies," funded by the EU (Fundación ETEA, 2017).

Within the framework of both projects, two media literacy workshops were conducted for Honduran women:

August 2017, San Marcos de Ocotepeque: "Learning to communicate in the digital age: use of accessible technologies, the internet and traditional media as tools for local development and SAN policies with a gender-based focus". Aimed at women belonging to the Municipal Offices of the Woman (spanish abbreviation: OMM), and small producers, it involved a total of 18 participants aged between 20 and 67 years from 8 municipalities in the departments of Ocotepeque and Lempira: San Francisco del Valle (4), Tambla (3), Guarita (1), La Labor (2), Tomalá (4), Lucerna (1), Valladolid (1), and Sensenti (2). A total of 16 face-to-face online interviews were carried out (The present investigation was approved by the Ethics Committee of Loyola University of Andalusia. No person participated in the investigation against their will, and all participants were informed).

September 2017, Marcala: "Learning to communicate in the digital era: use of accessible technologies, the internet and traditional media as tools for the inclusion of the Lenca indigenous people in advocacy processes and local economic development" Aimed at Lenca women who worked in aspects related to the development of productivity and economic improvement of the Lenca group. 22 women aged between 17 and 38 years from the department of La Paz participated, specifically from the municipalities of Marcala (7), Santa Elena (3), Cabañas (2), Yarula (4), Guajiquiro (3), Santa Ana (2) and Planes (1). All performed the face-to-face online interview.

Both the departments of Ocotepeque and Lempira as well as La Paz are located in one of the most vulnerable areas. With a predominantly poor, rural and indigenous female population with a low level of education, underemployment, a rate of teenage pregnancies reaching 32 % and gender violence affecting 27 % of women (Estepa, 2015), empowering women has become a priority to curb poverty.

This training program in media literacy for the empowerment of Honduran women belonging to vulnerable communities was preceded by several experiences and training phases that have benefited, since 2011, over 200 participants among young people without resources in countries such as Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador and El Salvador (Camarero et al., 2015; Camarero, Varona, 2016; Camarero et al., 2019). Since its inception, the general objective of this training project has been the acquisition by participants of both a certain level of media literacy - the level reached being determined by the prior knowledge, the duration of the training and the subsequent follow-up - as well as a certain level of skills in audiovisual technologies that enable participants to handle media in a particularly precarious socio-labor context.

Most of the participating women had little to no media literacy. The aim of this training program was to promote social change and contribute to the awareness of problems and situations in the community preventing its economic development. It is a flexible non-formal educational initiative based on a proactive learning methodology that seeks to teach from the premise of the surrounding reality and is able to adapt to the media literacy needs of the socioeconomic context in which the training is carried out (Camarero, Varona, 2017). The results confirm that training in media literacy among women belonging to vulnerable groups can be an effective tool to promote empowerment, avoid social exclusion and favor social change.

Once the workshops were concluded, we proceeded to evaluate how the training affected the participants, especially regarding empowerment, improvements in the short and medium term of

their working and family conditions, and increases in their awareness. It is important to consider, when assessing the results, the socio-economic starting point (age, marital status, number of children...) and the low level of education of the participating women, especially in the San Marcos workshop, where most had not finished primary education and several had never used a computer or internet on a cell phone. The high number of single mothers who participated in this training is significant, 33 % and 36 % in the regions studied (Fig. 1).

Learning to communicate in the digital age: use of accessible technologies, the internet and traditional media as tools for local development and SANpolicies with a gender-based focus. San Marcos de Ocotepeque (16 interviews)

Age Education Occupation Marital Status Children

<20 years 1 No studies 3 Housewife 8 Single 3 None 3

21-30 years 4 6th grade 8 Foreign work 3 Single with children 6 1-3 children 9

31-40 years 7 Secondary 2 Work for self 5 Partnered 2 >3 4

>40 years 4 Higher education 3 Married 5 children

Learning to communicate in the digital era: use of accessible technologies, the internet and traditional media as tools for the inclusion of the indigenous people in advocacy processes and local economic development. Marcala (22 interviews)

Age Education Occupation Marital Status Children

<20 years 5 No studies 2 Housewife 4 Single 8 None 10

21-30 years 15 6th grade 1 Foreign work 9 Single with children 8 1-3 children 12

Married 6

31-40 years 2 Secondary 17 Work for self 1 Partnered 0 >3 0

>40 years 0 Higher 2 Student 5 children

education Volunteer 3

Fig. 1. Socio-economic data of the participants

The data collection occurred over one month, both during the training (online interviews, individual conversations with the participants, participant observation) and follow-up (video interviews, audiovisual documents collected in the field, interviews with representatives of institutions in the field). This produced a multiplicity of data requiring rigorous coding to extract the most relevant information.

One of the characteristics of qualitative research is the paradox that although only small numbers of people are studied, the amount of information obtained is very large (Alvarez-Gayou, 2003). For this reason, the collection and analysis of data must be selective (Miles et al., 1994).

Given the number of variables to be taken into account, different instruments are available to evaluate their impact (Fig. 2). As a means of triangulating the results, the data from the online face-to-face interviews conducted with the participants, with open-ended and closed-ended questions, were used. These interviews were carried out at the end of the training by the trainers themselves, who were also the researchers. The interview script was designed to allow the questions to be related to each other. In this way, the succession and continuity of the questions were managed as the interview progressed, aiming to simulate traditional in-depth non-online interviews. In addition to closed-ended questions regarding certain quantitative aspects (age, education, marital status, assessment of training...), this interview allowed the participants to provide their personal views in the form of free text. These opinions were very valuable since as direct

testimonies. They complemented, added nuance and enriched the statistical data obtained via the closed-ended questions, providing a narrative understanding of their reality prior and subsequent to their participation in the training (Bruner, 1986). Lastly, video interviews were used as complementary assessment elements.

Data Sample (n°) Conceptual framework Tool

Online face-to-face interviews with participants Phase 1 : Learning to communicate in the digital age: use of accessible technologies, the internet and traditional media as tools for local development and SAN policies with a gender-based focus 16 Taylor & Bogdan, 1998; Miles & Huberman, 1994 NVIVO

Online face-to-face interviews with participants Phase 2; Learning to communicate in the digital era: use of accessible technologies, the internet and traditional media as tools for the inclusion of the lignçQ indigeno us people in advocacy processes and local economic development 22 Taylor & Bogdan, 1998; Miles & Huberman, 1994; Miles, Huberman & Sakiate, 2013 NVIVO

Video interviews with participants in the training, municipal leaders, community technicians, agricultural producers and feminist leaders 27 Miles & Huberman, 1994; Miles, Huberman & MïMîX-2013 https ://vimeopro .com/eradocom unicacionloyola/ fundacion-etea

Audiovisual material shot during the development of the training and/or on-site 11 hours recorded Miles & Huberman, 1994 https ://vimeopro .com/eradocom unicacionloyola/ fundacion-etea

Fig. 2. Data obtained, methodological analysis and tools

From a qualitative methodological approach (Taylor, Bogdan, 1984), experience is the basis for analyzing data but not for conditioning it. It requires an intimate approach with regard to the object of study since beyond the collected data, the actions or effects generated are analyzed, and it is about understanding why social changes occur or how they affect these from the perspective of the people involved. The data are analyzed with an inductive method, which creates a theoretical formulation based in reality as it is presented, remaining faithful to what is expressed by the informants and seeking to maintain the meaning that their words had for them (Miles et al., 2013).

The analysis of these data is based on the following four-step process: obtaining, transcribing/organizing, coding and integrating the information (Miles et al., 1994). The qualitative analysis software NVivo was used for the coding of the data, which allows the categorization of basic analysis units and the identification of topics for interpretive analysis. Coding is also a heuristic — a method of discovery. The code for a chunk of data is determined by careful reading and reflection on its core content or meaning. This provides intimate, interpretive familiarity with every datum in the corpus (Miles et al., 2013). This coding allowed us to condense the data and obtain and interpret the results, identifying four nodes: a) assessment of the training received in media literacy; b) improvements in economic and labor aspects; c) empowerment and community participation of women; and d) knowledge and involvement in the Lenca culture (applicable only to the Lenca women's group). This last code emerged progressively during data collection, that is, through a process of inductive coding. As M.B. Miles (Miles et al., 2013) assert, inductive coding is better grounded empirically and is especially satisfying for the researcher, who thus uncovers an important local factor. It also satisfies readers, who can see that the researcher is open to what the data have to say.

Therefore, the qualitative analysis of the interviews and audiovisual material aimed to assess the impact that media literacy training had on the participants and their family and community environments both through greater empowerment, helping them improve their living conditions,

and through the reaffirmation of their cultural identity as an indigenous group, in the case of the Lenca.

3. Discussion

With regard to media literacy, experts have devoted effort to analyzing and implementing innovative projects. Most of the initiatives have been directed at young people or children, both in formal and non-formal educational contexts (Camarero et al., 2017; Dezuanni, 2015; García et al., 2015; Gibbons, 2013; Hayes, Petrie, 2006; Martín Jiménez et al., 2016; Melki, 2015; Messias et al, 2010; Pegurer-Caprino et al., 2016; Pyles 2016; Reid, 2013; Ribeiro et al., 2015; Soep, 2006; Vickery, 2014; Vraga, Tully, 2016).

Although media literacy initiatives have generally been aimed at population groups that are closer to and make regular use of new technologies - indeed, media literacy among these groups has come a long way, and much experience has been gained - there have been groups of people who have not been included in media literacy because of their age or social situation, lack of knowledge of media and limited access to technology, with some significant exceptions (Del Prete et al., 2011; Grijalva-Verdugo, Moreno-Candil, 2017; Quarshie, 2004). Although nobody doubts that writing or reading are skills that a society or group should possess as a whole and within any age range, media literacy is not yet considered a priority in many national policies. The reality is that in many places, concrete policies affecting the population globally have not deployed in formal education with regard to media literacy. For this reason, non-formal educational experiences have arisen, which could be considered the spearhead of future educational policies incorporating media content as a part of the curriculum and as a tool for teaching values that promote positive changes (Fedorov, Levitskaya, 2015).

"There is also a very strong conservative direction in education policy that goes back a very long way. There needs to be space for the modern, technologically aware curriculum at school. However, certainly many policy makers still have the idea that the knowledge is just delivered as it is to children, that teachers' role is to transmit the whole body of knowledge from the past. However, the world is changing all the time, so surely the question should be: how do schools prepare children for the future?" (Vrabec, 2016:105-106). This situation is worrisome in relation to the majority of developing countries, where education lacks curricular projects on effective media literacy that are adapted to the new communication realities. This often makes it necessary to create learning strategies outside the classroom or regulated training, especially for vulnerable groups such as Honduran women. Creating non-formal educational scenarios, especially in vulnerable socioeconomic environments, is positive since it promotes more active forms of learning for the participants. These forms of learning are more motivating in that they are directed by what the participants want or need to learn, and at the same time, they are more interactive as a result of collective exchanges between learning communities (Ribeiro et al., 2015).

Literacy in its media, critical or digital dimension seeks to empower citizens so that they are less vulnerable and can in turn exert their share of power when faced with media and its influence, being themselves capable of influencing those who have an interest in them (Castells, 2009). Training vulnerable groups in digital and media literacy is key to empowerment, when empowering citizens is understood as strengthening freedom, critical autonomy and the participation of citizens in political, social, economic and intercultural issues based on the proper use of media technology (Gozálvez-Pérez, Contreras-Pulido, 2014:130; Messias et al, 2010:175). Groups are thus vulnerable if they have only low levels of training. Literacy provides the empowerment required for civic life (Camilli-Trujillo, Romer-Pieretti, 2017; Ferguson, 2017: 2).

Work on media literacy with Honduran indigenous women

The situation of indigenous women in Honduras is not different from that experienced in the rest of Mesoamerica (Colombara et al., 2016). The 169th Convention on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples approved by the International Labor Office (OTI, 1989) includes the following text: "The improvement of living and working conditions and the level of health and education of the peoples concerned, with their participation and cooperation, should be a priority in the global economic development plans of the regions where they live. Special development projects for these regions should also be developed in a way that promotes such improvement" (OTI 1989: Article 7.2).

However, the reality is that indigenous peoples and especially women in Central America are still far from achieving these objectives. In the geographical area of focus in this research, Western Honduras, where the Lenca ethnic group is in the majority and where there are large groups of

women who are in a vulnerable situation, although they are not indigenous, female leadership continues to be marginal compared to the role played by men, despite efforts to change these dynamics. A patriarchal culture still predominates, and the majority of women continue to be subject to the mandate of men in their daily life (Centro de Estudios de Mujer-Honduras (CEM-H, 2017). In addition, those women who exercise or intend to exercise opposition leadership in the territory in pursuit of better social conditions are often subjected to threats and even physical aggression, such as was suffered in 2015 by activist Berta Cáceres, murdered for defending the environment against the interests of electricity companies.

However, Honduran women recognize that there has been a change in recent years promoted by their participation and joining as collectives in social organizations and municipal networks: "This has allowed them to create a collective power to transform their assigned roles, which have limited their full citizenship, breaking the silence, in search of their own emancipation, freeing their consciences and thoughts from the different oppressions and captivities that they have been subjected to both privately and in public" (CEM-H, 2017:6).

The role of the local Women's Municipal Offices is significant, and because they are constituted, they have the right to 5 % of the municipal budget for activities they promote. However, such integration does not guarantee political empowerment of indigenous women. We are only likely to see indigenous women's empowerment in those contexts in which indigenous women activists have successfully mobilized to develop their own space and leadership within indigenous movements (Rousseau, Ewig, 2017). Without a doubt, access to education is the main obstacle that Honduran women have to overcome in their process of developing empowerment. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics, women between 13 and 18 years old are those who for the most part do not have access to secondary education, much less to higher education. School dropout is in many cases caused by teenage pregnancies. Only 21.8 % of women have access to secondary, and of these, only 32 % complete these studies. These figures are more alarming with regard to the indigenous female.

In economic terms, this educational inequality translates into purchasing power inequality; women with little or no training usually occupy informal jobs in rural areas or in services, lacking any type of security. This makes them especially vulnerable to the productive and economic crisis (CEM-H, 2017).

As we have noted, this lack of access to education is aggravated among rural women, whether indigenous or not, in Western Honduras, where they also typically lack collective assets such as land or natural resources, due to ongoing expropriation by national and transnational companies to install hydroelectric infrastructure, stripping the indigenous peoples of their common assets.

Given the difficulty for vulnerable groups such as indigenous and rural women of accessing quality specialized training, creating non-formal educational spaces is an option that should always be included in the improvement projects of these groups. One of the main problems hindering the active participation of the Honduran population lies in the lack of awareness and knowledge management capacity with regard to these issues. In many cases, even members of the local institutions themselves lack any type of training that would serve to reinforce their technical-media skills to sensitize public opinion. Familiarity with the media and audiovisual language has proven to be a powerful tool for empowering vulnerable groups and fighting poverty (Fedorov, Levitskaya, 2015). The proper use of language and new digital technologies must reflect these groups' own behavior and communication based on the application of social responsibility, adopting individual or collective social action with the objective of sharing knowledge and solving problems, participating as members of a community (Hobbs, 2010).

The gap between the technology rich and the technology poor is apparent at a global level, yet it also persists in many of the apparently 'wired up' regions of the world (Buckingham, 2007). The lack of specialized training prevents the community from developing on equal terms with others that do have access to and in particular knowledge of media languages and the use of social media. In fact, promoting the access of vulnerable groups to media literacy has become one of the priorities of researchers: "Outline how leading media literacy education scholars and practitioners help individuals of all ages develop habits of inquiry and skills of expression that they need to be critical thinkers, effective communicators, and active citizens" (NAMLE, 2007: 1).

The experience gained through previous media literacy projects with vulnerable groups leads us to concur with the affirmation that one of the fundamental merits of digital literacy courses lies in the social repository they leave (Camilii, Römer, 2017). Individuals from vulnerable groups who

acquire skills in media literacy begin to exercise a socially active role in relation to the digital environment, that is, they use it as an element of communication and a demonstration of literacy.

- They turn their communication activity into the comprehension and production of multimedia content, generating messages with critical content.

- They feel that it gives them freedom and that they are better owners of their decisions.

- It helps them acquire greater knowledge of their own realities, fostering civic engagement.

Therefore, the non-formal contexts of media literacy in vulnerable groups of Honduran

women have become essential tools for empowerment and a part of the formulation of cooperation projects whose raison d'être is to reduce the poverty levels: "There are key links among literacy, democracy, empowerment, and social participation in politics and in everyday life. Without the development of adequate literacies, the differences between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' cannot be overcome because individuals and groups will remain outside of the new global economy, online society, and culture" (Camilli-Trujillo, Romer-Pieretti, 2017: 16).

4. Results

When evaluating the results, we must consider its dual nature: on the one hand, a group of rural women collaborating with the women's office in their municipalities (which we will call the San Marcos Group because this is where the training was located); and on the other, a group of women conditioned by their belonging to the Lenca group (Marcala Group). This condition allows us to take the investigation further and to evaluate the impact of training on an indigenous group.

The research instruments used to measure the impact of the actions yielded very interesting results that we analyzed according to the four nodes identified, which allowed us to evaluate the impact of training on these two groups and determine if it makes sense as a media literacy and empowerment strategy.

Evaluation of the training received

To assess satisfaction with the training, one item was included with a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 representing maximum satisfaction. The data extracted from this element indicate that the San Marcos group rated the training positively. The majority of the group ranked it with the highest values on the scale: 14 of the 16 women interviewed granted 10 points to the program, while another three people gave it 8 points and one person gave it 5 points. In general, there was great satisfaction in this group, in which 100% of the participants said that if they could, they would do it again.

In the case of the Marcala group (Fig. 3), we also found high approval ratings, although the scores were somewhat variable. Even so, 13 of the 22 participants gave the highest rating, with an average score of 9; 95.5 percent of the participants also said that they would repeat the training.

Fig. 3. Satisfaction with learning. Marcala Group

Again asked for their opinion about the course in general and about the knowledge acquired, the participants of showed their satisfaction:

"I loved that training and I would be very happy to participate in another workshop." (Interviewee G. San Marcos 1, 2017);

"I would like to use it in my women's organization to motivate them to learn and show them that it can be useful in life." (Interviewee G. San Marcos 5, 2017);

"It is an excellent opportunity that has been provided to grow personally and professionally, because sometimes there is no one to give us one of these much needed opportunities." (Interviewee G. San Marcos 8, 2017);

"I would like to put it into practice and share it with others." (Interviewee G. San Marcos 18, 2017).

Looking for which specific parts of the training interested them most, both groups identified the social networks section as the most important or the one that interested them the most in the training. Half of the participants in both groups indicated the content on social networks as what interested them the most. In contrast, when asked about what they liked least, some interesting elements appear, especially from the Lenca women. In this group, several participants identified Twitter as the least interesting element: "Because I didn't understand its point" (Interviewee Marcala 16, 2017). Other people in this group mentioned the phone apps, because of the near lack of mobile coverage in their places of residence.

In short, and despite these nuances, we can note that the data and testimonies collected indicated a high satisfaction rate and a positive assessment of the workshops given.

Improvements in the personal and work aspect

The training was designed to impact the personal and work environments. To assess this impact, a series of specific questions were asked, first from the participants' personal perspective, to determine to what extent they perceived the training as a factor that could improve their lives.

The results are overwhelming: in the case of the San Marcos group, 100% of the interviewees considered that the training would be useful in improving their situation. In the case of the Lenca women of Marcala, 90.9% considered that their personal situation or that of their family would improve (Fig. 4).

Do you think this training will improve your situation?

No /4.5%


Fig. 4. Evaluation of the impact of training on the personal situation. Marcala group

One person (4.5 %) disagreed and thought that the training would not be of use in terms of improving their situation; another person thought that "maybe" it would work. In these two cases, the reason for their doubt had nothing to do with the teaching itself but with their own circumstances. For example, the person who said she did not believe that her life would improve qualified her answer with, "I do not have a personal project" (Interviewee Marcala 11 2017).

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A similar pattern of responses was found when asking for an assessment of the impact of the training on the women's economic situation. Again, 100% of the participants in the San Marcos group believed that the training would improve their economic situation. All the respondents offered interesting explanations for this conviction: "We can start our own businesses and create our advertising page". (Interviewee G. San Marcos 8, 2017); "Video editing can be a job that generates additional income". (Interviewee G. San Marcos 14, 2017).

In the Marcala group, the percentage distribution is repeated: 95.5 % of the participants believed that the training would improve their economic situation, while 4.5 % believed that "maybe" it would improve. The one person who expressed doubt explained her reluctance saying that, "what is needed is support to the different municipalities for their development" (Interviewee Marcala 11 2017).

Empowerment and community participation of women and Community participation and knowledge and involvement in the Lenca culture

The third node of analysis sought to evaluate the impact of training on the consolidation of communities and on the empowerment of women in the context of community participation.

To this end, the participants were asked if they considered that the training received contributed to turning them into more valuable people for their communities. Once again, all the participants of the San Marcos group considered that the training would make them more valuable to their communities. They justified their assessment with statements such as the following: "We can extend the knowledge to other groups or people and to the diversity of human resources to generate capacities and in this way improve the role that we exercise in society". (Interviewee G. San Marcos 3, 2017); "Because by learning, we can learn to teach other people and feel useful as women". (Interviewee G. San Marcos 5, 2017).

In the case of the Marcala group, this item was adapted to better understand the group's inclusion as an entity within Honduran society. The participants of this group were asked if they considered that the training received would make them more useful people in terms of including the Lenca people in processes of advocacy and local economic development; 95.5 % of the participants said yes, while 4.5 % (one person) thought "maybe." The participants justified their positions with answers such as those: "I can support women and young people and teach them how to use technology to sell their products". (Interviewee G. Marcala, 1, 2017); "Because I can contribute with ideas and bringing out products that are prepared or produced in Guajiquiro through social networks". (Interviewee G. Marcala 8, 2017); "Yes, because with this I can train women and young people so that they can promote their micro businesses". (Interviewee G. Marcala 9, 2017).

The person who chose the option "maybe" did so because "sometimes they don't give you the opportunity to participate" (Interviewee G. Marcala 19, 2017), suggesting that although training could contribute to improving the life of a participant's community, circumstances are not always such that one can in fact participate.

Another aspect that we were interested in measuring was the extent to which the training that was offered served to empower the female population or at least to what extent the women who participated considered that they were given a tool through this training that improved that empowerment.

When asked if the training could serve to facilitate the empowerment of women in their community, the San Marcos group responded in the affirmative, reinforcing their responses with explanations like this: "Because knowing of these programs we can empower ourselves of our rights as women and people". (Interviewee G. San Marcos 5, 2017); "Yes, because we women are no longer ignorant on this issue, and having obtained this training makes us women with personal development and we can undertake our initiatives knowing well the use of networks". (Interviewee G. San Marcos 8, 2017).

In the group of Lenca origin, the question on the effect of the training on the empowerment of women in their community was answered favorably but to a somewhat lesser extent than the previous questions. A total of 86.4 percent said that it would contribute to their empowerment, and 13.6 % (three people) thought "maybe." Lenca participants provided explanations for their favorable view of empowerment: "The Lenca can be empowered with these trainings to improve their projects or to do what they please, not only to be seen in their community but also nationally". (Interviewee Marcala 7, 2017); "As a woman and a Lenca, I know that opportunities are globalized and everything is technology, so we must know how to use them". (Interviewee Marcala 9, 2017).

Among the Lenca participants who opted for "maybe," the doubts had to do with the ability of the participants in the training to follow up: "I'm not sure that this type of training serves to empower the Lenca people, this type of training is to facilitate the recognition of the actions of the Lenca people, as long as the people we train follow up and put it in practice". (Interviewee Marcala 3, 2017).

The Lenca participants also expressed their intention with regard to putting into practice what they had learned in the workshops. Their initiatives always aimed at the empowerment and improvement of their communities: "A project is to socialize Lenca women. For young people to create new goals with them, because if there is capacity as enterprising women, young entrepreneurs. To teach them that there are many ways to get ahead, it is not only to emigrate to the US". (Interviewee Marcala 5, 2017); "First of all, to make the municipality aware so as not to lose our culture, to give workshops or talks that interest young people, then to talk about a project they want to do in the community". (Interviewee Marcala 6, 2017); "The projects of the micro companies where products are made and promote them to have a better coexistence in our municipality and thus improve the needs of the most needy". (Interviewee Marcala 14, 2017).

The projects proposed by the Lenca group are reflected in those mentioned by the participants of the San Marcos group. However, in this case, we find a difference: the participants of the San Marcos group, accustomed to being beneficiaries of the activities developed through women's offices in their municipalities, show more awareness in relation to working on gender-related problems, while in the case of the Marcala group there is more discussion about the indigenous community: "I would like to encourage the participation of women in the municipalities to express their feelings to improve their situations". (Interviewee G. San Marcos 6, 2017); "I am interested above all in defending the rights of women". (Interviewee G. San Marcos 11, 2017); "Gender, because we should all be treated equally, without gender distinction. Men and women can perform the same jobs. And above all, women must assert our rights". (Interviewee G. San Marcos 13, 2017). "Support for women, support for the micro-enterprise, support for health". (Interviewee G. San Marcos 19, 2017).

5. Conclusion

The data that we analyzed in the results section lead us to conclude that the training experience fully met its objective of strengthening and invigorating the use of social networks and web resources by the participating groups.

The participants considered that their abilities improved through learning and that they acquired technical knowledge about the audiovisual and the web environment that would benefit their communities in terms of awareness, advocacy and political integration. Therefore, as noted by E. Camarero et al. (Camarero et al., 2017), the training project served to give participants media literacy, which will help with their empowerment processes.

This non-formal learning is therefore revealed as necessary, since these people would otherwise never have access to it and its benefits. It also complies with the Paris Declaration on Media and Information Literacy, which considers media literacy an essential requirement to promote equal access to the media (UNESCO, 2014).

Moreover, our results are aligned with those of A. Fedorov and A. Levitskaya (Fedorov, Levitskaya, 2015), who noted that media knowledge and the ability to create media content are an excellent tool for empowering and fighting poverty. They also align with R. Hoobs (Hobbs, 2010) in that the use of technologies and media languages fosters an attitude of social responsibility and ethical principles that results in the resolution of problems in the family or local environment.

The good reception of the training provided in Honduras with the ETEA Foundation suggests that the proposal is useful and necessary to contribute to the empowerment of the groups addressed, especially that of rural women or from Lenca groups. In particular, given the responses, we consider that it is an especially useful action in terms of developing gender equality. Women understand that this training is essential in terms of working towards equality and making them more valuable in their environments and for their communities. In fact, most of the answers to the question about what type of projects they would like to launch after the workshops point to issues that have to do with gender equality.

In this aspect, and although the question of gender is also important, we found that for the participants of the Lenca group, their collective were still more important. Their answers point in that direction: to obtain resources and knowledge that contribute to empowerment of their indigenous community and not only women. It seems clear that there is a hierarchy in the

priorities of both groups and that the Lenca participants, because of their dual status as women and indigenous, still have a longer way to go when it comes to consolidating and defending their position as a distinct group.

Overall, the proposed learning actions proved to be well targeted and effective. The results obtained confirm that the specific objective of this training in media literacy was met, which was to empower different actors at the municipal level - in this case, rural and indigenous women -through alternative methodologies and accessible technologies, allowing them to acquire and manage media knowledge facilitating access to better economic opportunities. This training is therefore beneficial in terms of reinforcing the legal framework for combating poverty, valuing indigenous culture, and empowering women as active members capable of leading and influencing local public policies and making decisions in their communities. Therefore, the results obtained through this experience along with previous results in other social contexts, communities and groups of individuals confirm that good thinking means transcending the localness of a particular case to find its generalizability to other contexts (Miles et al., 2013).

We think, like W.L. Bennet (Bennet, 2008), that these educational initiatives in non-formal environments contribute to building the knowledge, tools and attitudes that are associated with greater civic commitment, especially in vulnerable groups. Given the lack of national media literacy policies, only through this training in non-formal educational environments can these vulnerable groups acquire these skills. When women participate in media literacy courses, the empowerment that they gain reduces discrimination against them (Del Prete et al., 2011). The issue is not only about breaking stereotypes and about training and access to technology among vulnerable groups but also about reducing the generational gap and developing a reflexive act regarding social justice (Nat, 2012) and meeting special educational needs (Kesler et al., 2016).

It is therefore important to emphasize the need to carry out such initiatives in order to continue comparing groups and demands and to be able to compare similar experiences in seeking to perfect educational proposals.

6. Acknowledgements

This project was supported by the (#1 Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation - AECID) within the framework of the agreement (Food security, management of water and forest resources, and improvement of agricultural productivity and marketing with a local approach and promoting environmental sustainability in Honduras); (#2 European Union (UE), within the framework of the project (Inclusion of the Lenca Indigenous People in processes of advocacy and local economic development in 7 municipalities of the Department of La Paz, with support from the La Denominación de Origen Café Marcala and its strategic allies).


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