In March 2018, Population Media Center (PMC), an international nonprofit that creates entertainment to address the rights of women and girls and environmental sustainability, launched a Spanish radio show in Guatemala. Expected to be broadcast until September 2019, the 156-episode show addresses reproductive health and teen pregnancy, rape and gender-based violence, and gang violence.

Communication Strategies: 

Toma Mi Mano ("Take My Hand") follows PMC's methodology for cataylsing change through entertainment that works on deep-seated, harmful norms and behaviours. For each issue addressed in PMC's shows, writers develop three character types: positive, negative, and transitional. Behaviour theory guides fictional interplay between these three (Social Learning Theory, Social Cognitive Theory, and Stages of Change, etc.). Promoted heavily and delivered via popular broadcast media, PMC shows seek to reach entire communities - cutting across socio-economic, gender, educational, and other cultural strata - fostering individual and communal change. The hope is that a critical mass of empowered individuals in PMC's audience catchment zones are motivated to adopt and implement positive behaviours, resulting in a cumulative effect of lasting and widespread normative change.

Broadcast in Spanish, Guatemala's official language, Toma Mi Mano ("Take My Hand") takes place in San Juan Renacimiento. It is in this fictional town that the character Alex will have to decide if he will pursue the future as a footballer that he wants, even if it means turning his back on his only family. It is where Esperanza, raising her granddaughter, will have to see if she can make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. It is where Jefferson will have to decide if his relationship with his father is more important than the well-being of his wife and daughter. And it is here that Ruth, a survivor of abuse, will have to decide if she should put herself in harm's way to protect her sister from a man she knows is a sexual predator. Each episode ends with a cliffhanger.

The drama airs on 51 radio stations in all 22 states (referred to as departments) in Guatemala. This nationwide broadcast has the potential to reach more than 3.4 million people. In addition, the show's marketing and storyline extensions are specifically designed multi-media pieces that extend the show's narrative and enhance fans' ability to interact and learn from the show, its storylines, and its characters.

Learn more and listen to episodes, etc.:

  • Toma Mi Mano website
  • Toma Mi Mano on Facebook - As part of Toma Mi Mano's storyline extensions, there will be two in-character Facebook pages for fans to interact with and see more about how the characters are thinking, feeling, and behaving. Fans can like their posts, reply to their posts, or send them a private message.
Development Issues: 

Adolescent Reproductive Health, Family Planning, Gender-Based Violence, Violence

Partner Text: 

PMC and the Guatemalan advertising agency Lafábrica&jotabequ, subsidiary of GREY International.

Production and writing partner: Federación Guatemalteca de Escuelas Radiofónicas (FGER)

The project's advisory committee includes organisations such as Plan International, Planned Parenthood Global, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), ASOGEN, and ALAS (Fundacion América Latina en Acción Solidaria).

Funded by the Erik and Edith Bergstrom Foundation and the Weeden Foundation.


Email from PMC to Soul Beat Africa on March 7 2018; and PMC website, March 6 2018; and PMC website - all accessed on March 7 2018; and email from Missie Thurston to The Communication Initiative on March 8 2018. Image credit: PMC