In "A Struggle Within Reach," Jacinta tells the story of Lucha Alcanzable, an indigenous Mayan woman living in Peru. Lucha’s father believes that she should discontinue her schooling so that she can get married, have children, and take care of her family. However, Lucha has plans of her own. She wants to continue learning so that she can help others in her community. Through hard work and dedication, Lucha eventually earns her college degree.
Using Jason Ohler’s Digital Storytelling Assessment Traits, I decided to review this story using the following criteria: Story, Project Planning, and Sense of Audience.
I thought this story was well told and engaging. Not only did Lucha need to overcome poverty and her father’s lack of support, she also had to transcend cultural expectations of a woman’s role in society. The ending was quite satisfying. Lucha tells women “that we have equal rights. Start your struggle today for a better future!” I think this story would be inspiring for anyone striving to overcome adversity and continue their education.
This project showed the proper amount of project planning. Jacinta culled a lot of photos from various stages of Lucha’s life (childhood, adolescence, etc.). She shot additional footage of Lucha, which combined well with more recent photos to give the audience a sense of Lucha in the present-day. Jacinta also chose to use Mayan music in the soundtrack, which lent the video a sense of authenticity that might have been lost had she chosen to use a more western style of music. My only criticism would be the ratio of photos to video. This story is very photo heavy. I think some video of Lucha teaching would help the viewer connect to her in a more personal way.
SENSE OF AUDIENCE
This video was categorized in the “Education” section on StoryCenter’s website. Thus, its primary audience seems to be teachers. A story detailing one woman’s struggle to earn her college degree is sure to resonate with teachers. Jacinta was wise to detail how Lucha is using her education to benefit others in her community. Such philanthropy lies at the heart of teaching, a point that the audience will no doubt appreciate.
Overall, I think “A Struggle Within Reach” is a well made video that tells a story worth hearing. Its intended audience, teachers, always appreciates an “underdog” story of a person overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds in order to continue their education. I believe that anyone, especially teachers, can find something in this story that will speak to them.
I am a Special Education teacher currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Information & Learning Technologies (Option: K-12) at CU Denver. I work at Boulder High School in Boulder, CO. Here you will find my thoughts on education.