Resilience is a system’s ability to recover after a strong hit without losing its essence. We could argue that this is the perfect word to describe what we are experiencing at The Voice of Guanacaste during this pandemic.
For reasons that are perfectly understandable, many advertisers of our paper had to pull their support, since many of them rely on tourism or on the positive impact of this industry. Without advertisers, we can’t afford to pay for our office, so we had to close it. Neither can we afford to put out our print edition, so we had to suspend its circulation, which had been published uninterruptedly every month for the past eight years.
We also made this decision for a very simple reason: we chose to put people first, over any material possession, paper publication, or building. We protected the salaries and social benefits of our entire team, and we continue to offer all the information on our website for free, where every day we continue to publish updated and rigorously reported stories about the statistics and effects of this pandemic in our province. We believe that people need this piece of knowledge in order to make better decisions, especially during a crisis like this.
Two months ago, we organized two workshops about resilience and climate change, one in Guanacaste and the other one in San Jose. With the invaluable support of CUNY’s Journalism School, we trained over 50 media professionals. Back then, we envisioned the concept of resilience as something that happened in nature, in cities, in distant futures or hypothetical scenarios…. little did we know that we would have to test our own resilience a few weeks after that.
After these workshops, we produced, designed, and printed this March 2020 edition, with in-depth stories about coral reefs, conservation areas, mangroves, rivers… we could not have foreseen that this would be our last print edition for a while.
In recent days, when several members of our team posted about this situation on their social media channels, we received an outpouring of support, with the most beautiful messages you can imagine. And gradually that support also transformed into donations and monthly subscriptions.
To honor all that affection, we wanted to do something we usually don’t do: share a full version of our print edition, for free and in digital. Thank you for your constant support, especially during these uncertain times, for we know that each dollar or colón is now much more valuable in our lives than it used to be.
On behalf of our entire team, thank you. Thank you very much.