BBtv debuts "BBtv World" series. Episode 1: El Molinero (Guatemala)

Watch this episode in Flash above, or download here: MP4 download link

On behalf of all my Boing Boing and Boing Boing tv colleagues, I'm excited and proud to announce the debut of a new series within our daily video program: BBtv World. This ongoing series will feature first-person glimpses of life around the world, told through the lenses and voices of Boing Boing editors, guest collaborators — and through the people in these places, their own stories, their own way. When we can, we want to place the camera directly in the hands — literally — of the people whose lives, cultures, and lands we're visiting.

We're kicking this off with an episode I shot during a recent visit in a K'iche Maya village in the highlands of Guatemala. I go there a few times a year to work on sustainable development projects with an international nonprofit managed with local indigenous leaders.

"El Molinero," the title of this debut piece, refers to the corn mill where young girls go every day to grind soaked, hulled corn ("nixtamal") into soft dough for tortillas or tamales (in K'iche, the dough is "k'osh").

The old machine — hacked together by local craftsman from various components — is extremely loud, spews smelly fuel exhaust, and like many aspects of daily life and work here, is not neccesarily safe.

The K'iche girls you see in this episode helped me shoot some of what you see. In future episodes, they'll tell their stories themselves, and we'll visit other places — Tibet, Africa, Mexico, China, India, and Japan, to name a few of the destinations planned.

Tech note: some of the footage used in this episode was shot on micro-mini digital camcorders donated for review purposes by Pure Digital Inc. (the Flip camcorder) and RCA (RCA Small Wonder). I'll post more about the tests on those devices, and how the people here are using each of them in experimental "distributed documentary" projects.

SPONSOR SHOUT-OUT: The BBtv crew wishes to thank Microsoft for underwriting this episode, and generously supporting the launch of the "BBtv World" series. In this ongoing video series, we will be looking at the intersection of social causes & technology around the world from a number of perspectives. Through their new "i'm Initiative," Microsoft shares a portion of the program's advertising revenue with some of the world's most important social causes when users email or IM with tools such as Windows Live™ Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail®. For more information, visit or

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