Mucho Corazón (Mexico)
Mucho Corazón tells the story of Maruch, a young indigenous woman from a rural community in Chiapas. Maruch suffers from harassment, corruption, racial and gender discrimination and a lack of opportunities because of her social class. In the absence of her mother, Maruch supports her alcoholic father and tries to help him overcome the disease. Determined to see her father get better and improve her own life, Maruch takes advantage of government programs for women and empowers other women in her community to start their own tomato farm. Everything seems to be going well until Don Justo, the town’s leader, forces Maruch’s father to give his daughter’s hand in marriage, even when Maruch loves another, Justo’s son. In her struggles, Maruch is confronted by several dangerous situations and falls victim of injustice before overcoming it all.
The 36-episode drama is written by Georgina Tinoco and Alberto Aridjis, two prestigious Mexican writers with a long history of telenovela scriptwritng. The series, which features local talent, promotes women’s economic opportunities, equal rights for women and Indigenous Peoples as well as equal access to government health services, women’s empowerment, financial literacy and girls’ education. The program was launched in January 2012 and since, a new 30-minute episode has been airing weekly on Canal 10, a channel run by the Chiapas Radio, Television and Cinematography System. Right after each episode’s broadcast, the drama is complimented by a television talk show, which hosts experts and characters from the show and aims to enhance audience participation through the State of Chiapas radio and television networks and community action campaigns to encourage viewers to adopt behaviors modeled throughout the drama. An agreement with Televisión de América Latina (TAL) has been signed and the series is broadcast on over 23 stations throughout Latin America. In addition, Mexicanal and Mexico TV are broadcasting the drama to Hispanic populations across the United States and Canada.
The Mexican State of Chiapas is the first in the world to base its constitution on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to accelerate development in communities housed there. Mucho Corazón (A Lot of Heart), an exciting new Entertainment-Education (E-E) television drama, is helping spread the word about the MDGs and the importance of sustainable development, gender equity and respect for Indigenous Peoples by weaving information about the MDGs into a dramatic story.
The program partners are implementing Media Impact’s My Community approach to E-E and social change communications to strengthen the capacity of local ministries and State government institutions to develop and produce a comprehensive communications campaign to generate positive social change and community development. A cornerstone of the program is to build a network between State ministries to use the power of law and communications to showcase the natural resources and human diversity of Chiapas, enhance knowledge sharing, engage the public and support community-based adaption activities across the state.
The partners previously collaborated to produce and broadcast Corazón de Mujer (The Heart of a Woman), which began broadcasts on the International Day of Women in 2011. The drama promotes women’s access to government health services and legal rights. Corazón de Mujer was originally broadcast on the State Government’s radio station, and has since been rebroadcasted on more than 50 stations in three countries.
The impact evaluation of the TV soap opera Mucho Corazon will be completed by January of 2013. Media Impact and partners defined three main components of the program evaluation:
1. Agricultural practices
2. School attendance
3. Financial literacy
A baseline survey was conducted from December 2011 to January 2012 before the broadcast of the TV soap opera. The face-to-face surveys were applied in 10 municipalities and 1230 surveys were collected. Data from control groups were collected in four municipalities.
Monitoring & Outputs
During the program delivery each call-in show was monitored of all 36 episodes in order to document the response of the audience. A current rebroadcasting of all episodes will reinforce the promoted behavior changes and increase the reached target population. The program monitoring happened during the initial broadcast of the TV soap opera from January 2012 to September 2012. On average each question raised at the interactive call-in show received a response rate of 30 to 70 messages.