A bit of a breeze so that we can beat our wings and continue to fly
Children are not the future of the world.
They are the most vital, curious and
palpitating present of the universe.
The Two Belly Buttons
If you are a human being you have a belly button. Just one. Only one. This umbilicus nurtures you while you form in your mother´s belly. Its job was finished when you were born. What you might not know is that there is a second umbilicus, one that satiates another hunger, the hunger of the spirit. Its work is never done. It is a radio station!
Radiombligo (Bellybutton Radio) is the medium that nurtures the most profound needs of the souls of children through music and literature. Yes! Turn on your radio in the morning and your home is filled with fantastic beings, music and literature. Songs from Columbia, Argentina, Cuba, Spain, Chile, Brazil, Mexico…Songs in French, English, German, and in African and Asian languages stimulate your imagination and curiosity. Jazz, blues, rock, folk; all that sounds beautiful has a place in the umbilicus of radio.
In Chiapas, the poorest state in Mexico, the remote fisherman or farmer´s child as well as children from cities, go to school well fed by Mozart or Beethoven or Bach or Vivaldi. Piano, violin, viola, but also marimbas, saxophones and guitars leap into their ears with great pleasure. Radiombligo has been on the air 14 years, broadcasting live shows Monday through Friday, one hour each and every morning.
For what age range is the show? That´s like asking for which audience is the moon or the ocean waves or giraffes or flowers! Everyone, from babies to those of golden years, we all enjoy Radiombligo the same. Boys and girls eat their breakfast while listening to old tales or contemporary stories. The songs are stories and in the stories incredible characters show us the good, the bad, the sad and the happy of life.
If you peak into the window of the recording booth you´ll discover that the two hosts are the wise, old Zopilote (Vulture) and Gaviota (Seagull), who feed themselves from books as well as fish. At the controls you´ll find a descendant of the dinosaurs: the incredibly fast Hugo Torongo Tortugo. And how many different personalities visit each year! They speak of Science, Health, Sports, Games, Democracy, and of the love of animals, plants and grandparents.
We have been able to arrive to thousands of homes because the signal is connected to 13 radio stations of the Public Radio of Chiapas Network, but more than that, because we are also very fun! Our audience grows each day through the Internet. Do you already know of us? www.radiombligo.org
We have received many awards for our work. Among them are:
+ Coming up Taller Award 2009, this was awarded by the Government of the United States in the White House. We received it from the hands of First Lady Michelle Obama.
+ 4 First Place Awards in the International Biennial of Radio.
+ The best award of all has been the love from the public. Thousands of letters are the irrefutable proof. Boys and girls grow up happy with their two belly buttons, the one on their tummies and the one of heart and intelligence. In your city, in your community, does something like this exist? Do your children wake up with the desire to listen to new adventures on the radio? We have looked the world over and have found very few, if not none like Radiombligo.
Desires and Turmoil
We wish to reach all of Mexico, Central and South America. The children deserve it! We desire to reach all Spanish speaking children in the United States and those dispersed throughout the rest of the world. Radiombligo, we are sure, is the Book that many cannot read, the Art Gallery that they can never visit, the Grandfather´s Voice, the Mermaid´s Song, the Magic Mirror where each and every child can see the very best of themselves.
But our funding was cut short. We have been working with only half our budget for the last three years. There is no way to justify this punishment! With much effort, we have barely been able to maintain our ship afloat. We have had to stop offering Concerts in plazas and public theaters; we have had to cancel Radiombligo Cinema; we have had to stop sending out free Books by mail; we have had to cut back on important collaborators.
Can you imagine someone told you that soon the moon would be canceled or that flowers were now prohibited, or that what you loved most does now not exist? We were on the verge of leaving Radiombligo and had announced it to our audience. However they, children and adults alike, do not want us to give up. They told us that without Radiombligo their mornings would be chaos, that sadness would set in and that they love us a lot. It’s true what I say, it’s in their letters!
So then lightning struck us with an idea: let us not only rescue Radiombligo for the children of Chiapas, but also advocate it for anyone, in any part of the world that needs to satiate the other hunger. We are only missing a little push and a bit of a breeze so that we can beat our wings and continue to fly.