June 12, 2011

Global Voices: Bookmark this

Dana's heading into the final weeks of her summer semester in Peru, and the group is scheduled to head to Puno for a few days of Lake Titicaca exploration. Whether they'll be able to go -- or get out if they get in -- is in doubt, as Aymara miners have been protesting a mining concession granted to a Canadian company. The protests, put on hold for a week to allow Puno residents to vote in Peru's June 5 presidential election, which placed socialist Ollanta Humala in power, were at times violent, and had effectively shut down and cut off Puno. Hundreds of tourists were stranded but did manage to get out. The road between Cusco and Puno, the road Dana's group will travel on, was blocked. Two days ago, the protesters resumed their demonstrations.

Dana's university isn't giving the students much information, so I've been trying to find current, reliable reports. A lot of what I've found are old stories reposted with new dates -- very confusing when you're trying to figure out what's happening right now. I've been reading Peruvian newspapers online, but my Spanish isn't honed enough to pick up tone and nuance, and nuance counts here, along with fact.

A few minutes ago I stumbled upon Global Voices, and I recommend that anyone with an interest in knowing what's going on in places large and small, known and obscure, all over the world, bookmark this site. I'll be visiting at least weekly.

Using a team of volunteer bloggers and translators, Global Voices aggregates news and blogs from citizen journalists worldwide. The number of countries covered is staggering, and the posts are translated into many languages, increasing the accessibility of the information. I spent an illuminating half-hour cruising the site and decided to use it as a trusted news source after I clicked on the "Sponsors" tab and saw the many respected organizations that help keep Global Voices going.

I sent Dana the Global Voices link to share with her trip leaders, as I think the site's Peruvian bloggers have their ears closer to the ground than Dana's college officials.