Alharaca, El Salvador

Trailblazers for feminist and youth-focused journalism

Alharaca is an independent feminist media outlet that promotes democracy, inclusion and human rights through innovative narratives and collaboration.

Alharaca is accustomed to breaking barriers. Formed by four young women in 2018, they put feminist journalism on the map and increased visibility for topics that were considered ‘taboo’ – sexual and reproductive health, gender diversity, human rights, and feminism, and became one of the first media outlets in El Salvador led by women.

Feminist journalism disrupts the status quo while informing and mobilizing the public to demand fundamental rights. Alharaca’s intentions were evident in their choice of name – alharaca in Spanish is typically used in a derogatory way (especially towards women) to indicate too much noisemaking or fuss about an insignificant topic. This meaning was appealing to the founders, who gave it an empowering connotation and signaled that they would cover topics ignored by traditional media.

For Alharaca, journalism is not only a channel for information, but part of the collective effort to construct more just and equitable societies and promote democracy, a need at a time when El Salvador is in the grip of a two-year long state of exception that enables the government to violate constitutional rights. Alharaca believes in alliances, working in partnership with fellow independent outlets to strengthen feminist journalism and expand their reach in urban and rural communities.

CAMY Fund has supported Alharaca’s growth since 2020. They have built a team of 17 mostly full-time staff, established their own office space, and strengthened the organization’s capacity so they can focus on reporting on the topics they care about. Young people, women, and the LGBTIQ+ community are a key demographic, and much of their content is on topics relevant to youth, using Instagram, X, Facebook, and Tiktok to reach their 34,000 followers.

They have discovered surprises in their work – through a social media campaign #SexoSinVergüenzas (Sex Without Shame), followers contacted them directly to ask basic questions about sexual health or to share stories of abuse. Historical memory, which social movements use to preserve past events, is also close to their heart – an audio project commemorated the 1980 funeral of Monsignor Oscar Romero, the Catholic archbishop murdered for his stance against injustice and violence. More than 40 people died on this day and chaos ensued among the hundreds of thousands of attendees. This project recreates experiences of survivors who were young at the time of the event, and has been used in public spaces and in a university to teach about historical memory.

Alharaca remains committed to practicing what they call ‘constructive journalism’, generating positive narratives and documenting events for posterity. Above all, they are most proud of creating safe spaces for young women and diverse people through their work, and transcending traditional media cycles to tell the stories for a better society in El Salvador and around the world.

Learn more about Alharaca here.