Celebrating a People’s Radio Station: Radio Progreso/ERIC-SJ’s 60th Anniversary

One of the purposes for our journey to Honduras Dec.9-19, was to coincide with numerous 2016-12-14-19-17-14events surrounding the momentous 60th Anniversary of Radio Progreso’s and ERIC (the Research and Communications Team’s) existence as one of the only independent, progressive and critical sources of information in Honduras.  We brought with us a Commendation from the City of Berkeley that we presented at the Anniversary dinner.  Alongside the 60th Anniversary there were a number of key events for  visitors  like us from 8 different countries as well as many Honduran movement organizations and people participating:
  • Forum on Human Rights
  • Forum on Migration
  • Forum on Freedom of Press
  • Anniversary Dinner for Guests
  • Mass Mobilization March in Progreso
  • Popular Mass – Service
  • Anniversary Concert featuring international musical artists from Honduras, Mexico and Venezuela(Guaraguao)
     img_6620
    The Radio Progreso/ERIC birthday party was a  lively, festive affair. The Radio Progreso conference room was decked out with decorations including a spectacular birthday cake
    that was our contribution to the party. Marvelous music accompanied the guests gathering to renew acquaintances and to meet new people and to sit down to a lovely banquet.   The party was to celebrate the 60+ staff and collaborators who help to produce the dynamic work of Radio Progreso/ERIC- which is not just radio programming, but also leadership and formation, research, films and educational resources and campaigns, and social movement building.  They have been taking the lead on the campaign against the privatization of the roads.  Invited guests included  the Women, las Patronas, from img_6626Veracruz  who give water and food to migrants riding on “La Bestia,” the train through Mexico, Fr. Rafael Moreno, head of the Jesuit Migration Network, and  others whose amazing life stories we have heard  since coming here. Also in attendance were the Representative from the United Nations Commission on Human Rights which has just opened an office in Honduras, and the former Representative from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  Our group contributed various wines including local fruit wines here in sold in the red COMAL store.  All were in a very festive mood.

    There was a short program with introductions and greetings. Then the MC asked if other dsc00396people had something to say. On that cue, I  presented the Proclamation of congratulations on the celebration of the 60 year anniversary  from the Berkeley City Council with the official Berkeley seal and the signature of our new Mayor Jesse Arreguin. I read an abbreviated version, but Father Melo, was so touched by the text of the proclamation, that he wanted the whole proclamation read out loud.  The proclamation honors and celebrates Radio Progreso’s “60 years as a radio station being a voice for the poor in Honduras and building a more just society through its programs of research, communications and incubation of social movement organizations, such as women, youth, farmers and indigenous communities”

    Read it here- in English: dsc00442
    or in Spanish: 
    The week’s Anniversary ended with a spectacular popular mass and outdoor music concert with over 1000-2000 people in attendance. The Bay Area’s very own, Francisco Herrera – playing the original song written by Sylvia Brandon-Perez:  Para Berta, presente!

    – by Diana Bohn

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1 thought on “Celebrating a People’s Radio Station: Radio Progreso/ERIC-SJ’s 60th Anniversary”

  1. Your effort to be present was for sure an honour and truly motivating, but far more – for Padre Melo and the people who surround him daily at Radio Progreso and ERIC your presence was a validation and affirmation from people of deep faith. In Honduras the religious scene is a very mixed bag. The government through the office of the President-dictator pays a yearly stipend of $millions both to the Cardinal of the Catholic Church and the head of the Evangelical churches to guarantee and reward their support for the coup and the continued military-narco control of the country. Yes Padre Melo and his people do receive some affirmation from within Honduras, from people of faith and from those who profess no religious faith, but when this support comes from the north (from the belly of the beast) there is another message that encourages and strengthens their resolve. No wonder Padre Melo wanted the entire proclamation read aloud, because that message was not coming from the city of El Progreso nor from the leader of the local diocese. So your presence and willingness to share, your time, your faith, your declaration that you are concerned and maintain RP and ERIC in your hearts, your prayers and in your advocacy for justice and peace, all has been very, very important.

    Liked by 2 people

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