Glendy Agustin Jiguan is taking TikTok by storm with her informative videos on the rights of the indigenous population in Guatemala.
The 23-year-old from Comitancillo, Guatemala, is one of the first Maya Mam women to use the media to engage on a range of issues that affect the Mayan people including violence, land dispossession and natural resources.
Glendy is now producing audiovisual messages in her native Mam and Spanish for use on different platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Tik Tok, radio and television. Her videos on issues that affect Mayan peoples have more than 60,000 likes on TikTok.
The indigenous population of Guatemala, especially women and young people in rural areas of the Western Region of the country, have historically had limited access to their social, political and economic rights and have been subjected to repression, racism and discrimination.
In 2018, Glendy joined a women’s space at the Mayan People’s Council and took part in Communications workshops which aimed to inform and raise awareness among the general population about relevant issues concerning Mayan Peoples.
“The Communications workshops allowed me to develop my writing, photography, video and social media skills. Before joining the Mayan People’s Council’s communications team, I had very few skills and was unaware of many issues. The training helped me to become a more effective communicator on the issues affecting the Mayan peoples,” Glendy said.
The women’s space, run by Trócaire partner Association Peace and Ecology Commission (COPAE) with funding from the EU and Trócaire, aimed to strengthen the individual and collective capacities of Mayan peoples through workshops on empowerment, networking and participation.
“Being the first Maya Mam woman in the media has also inspired more young women to occupy spaces in the media. Many young women are now working in areas occupied only by men, such as journalism, sports journalism, film and photography,” Glendy said.
“There is still a long way to go to overcome the structural and historical problems that the Maya people suffer from. This training provided by COPAE, with funding from the EU, is a vital step for young people to know their rights, and to become empowered member of society.”