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Nicaragua: Discovering ‘1001 Tropics’ with Blogger Mildred Largaespada

In the same way Scheherazade tells her stories, I am going to tell the thousand and one, sometimes interlinking, stories that emerge and that interest me, using the tools of journalism.

This is how Mildred Largaespada introduces [es] her blog 1001 trópicos [es], which will turn one year old this week, on February 9, 2012. The well-known blogger and journalist was interviewed recently by [es] about being the first Nicaraguan woman to participate in the Premios 20Blogs [es] blog competition run by the digital newspaper

Mildred explains the context of this interview in her blog [es].

Esta entrevista me la hicieron porque apunté al blog en el concurso Premios 20Blogs VI edición del diario digital y Angélica Fajardo, la periodista de, me hizo varias preguntas relacionadas al quehacer del blog, al trabajo como bloguera. Son preguntas que la gente me hace porque se muestran interesadas en el fenómeno de cómo ciudadanas comunes y corrientes abren un espacio para expresarse.

En la entrevista contesto varias de las preguntas. Interrogantes parecidas me hicieron para ser parte del corpus de la extraordinaria (por buenísima) tesina La blogosfera literaria nicaragüense, cuyo autor Martín Mulligan, es también bloguero y escritor, y su blog Jugados de cegua tengo enlazado aquí abajo.

They did this interview with me because I submitted the blog to the digital newspaper Premios 20Blogs VI edición [es] competition. The [es] journalist Angélica Fajardo asked me various questions about the blog and working as a blogger. They are question that people ask me because they show an interest in the phenomenon of how ordinary citizens open spaces to express themselves.

In the interview I answer several of the questions. I was asked similar questions as part of the extraodinary and excellent thesis La blogosfera literaria nicaragüense (The Nicaraguan Literary Blogopshere), whose author Martín Mulligan is also a blogger and writer. I have linked to his blog (Jugados de cegua [es]) below.

You can watch this video subtitled into English at Universal Subtitles.

Mildred adds five questions to the interview, amplifying the discussion about her blog, the competition and what it is like to run a blog like hers:

¿Para qué abrir un blog? No tengo una respuesta clara a esta pregunta, y sólo se me ocurre decir: por puras ganas de comunicar “algo”. En mi caso, era la necesidad de comunicar asuntos que no miraba que atraían el interés de los medios de comunicación tradicionales y que consideraba importantes como noticia, es decir, como algo que está ocurriendo. Con un blog tenés una agenda periodística propia.

Why start a blog? I don't have a solid answer to this question and the only thing that comes to mind is for the simple desire to communicate “something”. In my case it was the need to communicate subjects that didn't seem to attract the attention of traditional media and that I considered to be important news, I mean like something that's happening. With a blog you have your own journalistic agenda.

¿Para qué apunté al blog al concurso? Mi obligación como bloguera es promover al blog porque a su vez promuevo a la comunidad que apoya al blog. Es decir, todas las lectoras y los lectores del blog son un tipo de gente que encuentra algo en los textos y artículos, se identifican con los temas e interactúan intensamente. De modo que el blog en sí mismo no tiene vida sin esa gente. Esa interacción se aprecia en mi perfil personal en Facebook, aunque en enero de este año ya le abrí una página en esa red social al blog.

Why did I submit the blog to the competition? My duty as a blogger is to promote the blog because at the same time I'm promoting the community that supports the blog. In other words, all the blog's readers are a kind of people that find something in the texts and articles, they identify with the issues and they interact intensely with them. So the blog itself is not alive without these people. This interaction is seen on my personal Facebook profile, even though in January of this year I already opened a page for the blog on this social network site.

Mildred Largaespada. Image used with permission.

¿Cosas feas que genera tener un blog? El blog 1001 trópicos sólo me ha generado satisfacciones inmensas. Pero tengo que decir que también me ha generado un fenómeno feo: las amenazas. Cuando escribo artículos sobre política nicaragüense y le hago una crítica al gobierno de Ortega los amenazadores empiezan a funcionar. Se lo conté sin querer contárselo a la periodista de Quienes escriben las amenazas no quieren que yo siga respirando aire puro en la faz de la tierra. Sólo quieren el aire para ellos. Pero las intimidaciones no han dado frutos, porque aquí seguimos.

Anything unpleasant about having a blog? The 1001 trópicos blog has only given me great satisfaction. But I must also say that it has generated an unpleasant phenomenon: threats. When I write articles about Nicaraguan politics and I criticise  the government of Ortega, the threats begin. I told this unintentionally to the [es] journalist. Those who write the threats don't want me to be breathing this earth's fresh air. They only want the air for themselves. But the intimidations have been fruitless because here we are.

¿Por qué este blog a veces se expresa en inglés? Porque en Nicaragua se habla español e inglés, y miskito, sumo y rama, y náhuatl. Uno de los intereses de este blog es reconocer que esa realidad existe en el país. Y sigo esperando el día en que los medios de comunicación tradicionales inauguren sus ediciones en inglés para todo el caribe nicaragüense. Además, el blog tiene lectoras y lectores allá. Y porque estoy aprendiendo miskito y náhuatl.

Why is the blog sometimes written in English? Because in Nicaragua we speak Spanish and English and Miskito and Sumo and Rama and Náhuatl. One of the intentions of the blog is the recognise this reality that exists in the country. I keep waiting for the day that traditional media will inaugurate its English editions for all of the Nicaraguan Caribbean. Also, the blog has readers there. And because I am learning Miskito and Náhuatl.

¿Qué podemos esperar de la participación en el concurso? Desde el principio todo ha ido bien: las lectoras y los lectores han comentado sus ideas sobre el blog y hemos estado en el top ten de la categoría de Actualidad durante todas las semanas, eso significa apoyos e identificación con los temas que se abordan en el blog. La participación del blog 1001 trópicos es parte del movimiento bloguero que se vive en Nicaragua y El Salvador. En Nicaragua es donde está más fuerte el blogging y están participando buenísimas bitácoras. Esa es la idea: participar en todos los eventos para llevar los temas que se abordan en los blogs para la mayor difusión.

What can we expect from the participation in the competition? From the start everything has gone well: readers have contributed their ideas about the blog and we have been in the top ten in the Current Events category during all weeks. This means support and identification of the issues that are dealt with in the blog. 1001 trópicos’ participation is a part of the blogging movement that lives in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Nicaragua is where blogging is stronger and there are some excellent blogs taking part [es]. The idea is to participate in all the events to spread the issues dealt with in the blogs as widely as possible.

Mildred belongs to an active community of Nicaraguan bloggers who use the internet and citizen media to communicate, inform and share their ideas. In September 2011 they organised a Blog Carnival, with the support of Global Voices in Spanish, about migration. To find more Nicaraguan blogs you can visit the Nicaraguan Blog Carnival blog [es] that includes a list of the blogs [es] that took part in the festival, including Mildred's 1001 trópicos.

Beatriz Arze subtitled the video in this post.

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