Gina and Hugo, hosts of Globalizate Radio, deliver the latest migration news in the Dominican Republic. Photo: IOM/Gema Cort├ęs

Dominican Republic – Gina and Hugo left Venezuela in 2017, unaware that their journey would lead them to create a vital digital platform for their fellow migrants in the Dominican Republic. With 25 years of journalism experience each, the pair found themselves at the helm of Globalizate Radio station, which has been a beacon of hope and connectivity for the Venezuelan community for five years.

"The premise behind this community radio is a migrant helping another migrant. Giving a voice and a window of verified and quality information to the Venezuelan community to make them feel like they are at home,” Gina reflects passionately about the platform that employs both migrants and members of host communities.

Globalizate Radio has evolved into more than just a streaming station; it is a lifeline for Venezuelans in the Dominican Republic, providing crucial information about the historic Special Stay Arrangements, as well as offering information about human rights, access to jobs, health care, education, and banking facilities through digital platforms. With over 115,000 Venezuelans seeking opportunities in the Dominican Republic, the radio plays a pivotal role in disseminating information in the Caribbean’s first country receiving Venezuelans. 

Supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and collaborating closely with the Dominican government and Venezuelan civil society organizations, Globalizate Radio delivers quality information to the migrant community. Streaming in Spanish, the station covers local and national news, offers live shows, and hosts discussions on migration-related issues.

“In essence, we work as a bridge between the Dominican government and Venezuelan migrants to inform communities about the regularization plan, create awareness-raising campaigns, support migrants’ information hubs, and tour around the country with government representatives to meet with migrants,” says Hugo, while emphasizing their commitment to their work.

Gina broadcasting live an interview with a Venezuelan migrant. Photo: IOM/Gema Cortés

Despite the dominance of digital media, radio remains a trusted source of information and referent connection, particularly among Venezuelans. When seeking answers and advice, many people turn to Globalizate Radio’s familiar voices, finding comfort and support in their broadcasts.

“They have cleared up so many doubts concerning the regularization process, and most importantly, it is for free,” states Andres Car, a radio listener. This remark matches the hundreds of positive comments pouring in from throughout the country about Globalizate Radio’s invaluable work.

Benefiting from the Regularization Plan themselves, Gina and Hugo were able to formalize the enterprise and fully integrate into society as entrepreneurs, after several years of working on real estate.

Challenging stereotypes

Beyond providing information, Gina and Hugo have built a platform that combats stereotypes and xenophobia against Venezuelans. By sharing positive stories of resilience and integration, the station hopes to encourage empathy and solidarity in the community.

Close up of camera screen during an interview recording by Globalizate Radio. Photo: IOM/Gema Cortés

Looking ahead, Globalizate Radio plans to expand, incorporating journalists from across the region who see its impact on community integration and support. “We are no longer a reference only in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean,” Gina says, proud of the station’s expanding popularity, adding that it may serve as a model for similar initiatives in other countries.

Gina and her daughter during one of the broadcast sessions. Photo: IOM/Gema Cortés 

Hugo muses on the bonds built between Dominicans and Venezuelans through the radio station, expressing gratitude for the kind welcome they have received. “Our audience is our motivation to continue growing,” Hugo concludes. 

Globalizate Radio represents unity, resilience, and community spirit, bridging cultures and forging connections across borders. Through Gina’s and Hugo’s dedication, it remains a light of hope and empowerment for Venezuelans in their new home.

This story was written by Gema Cortés, IOM Media and Communications Unit, Office of the Special Envoy for the Regional Response to the Venezuelan Situation.

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