LGBTQI+ and Women’s Rights Reporting Initiative in Latin America


¡Exprésate! is the IWMF’s LGBTQI+ and Women’s Rights Reporting Initiative in Latin America that seeks to support the production of high-quality journalism by and about women and members of the LGBTQI+ communities in El Salvador and Guatemala. Established with a two-year grant from the Foundation for a Just Society, ¡Exprésate! enables the IWMF to expand its support of journalists and inclusive, nuanced reporting in the region. This initiative builds on the successes of the IWMF’s Adelante Latin America Reporting Initiative.

Beginning in El Salvador and Guatemala in 2019, ¡Exprésate! will provide year-long fellowships for 15 journalists from each country. Journalists from marginalized communities will be prioritized, and at least half of all participants will be women. The purpose of these fellowships is to train journalists on how to accurately, objectively, and safely cover LGBTQI+ and gender-focused stories and to create a body of holistic, inclusive coverage. Participants will receive training and support from experts in media and human rights, with a focus on sexual orientation and gender identity. This will include a variety of workshops, community forums, security trainings, and collaborative reporting projects and grants, pairing international journalists specializing in these issues with in-country journalists committed to advancing social justice and equality. The workshops and community forums will bring feminist and LGBTQI+ networks together with members of the media to foster open lines of communication, understanding, and greater respect for equal rights. This combination of supporting high-quality reporting and facilitating sensitization through dialogue aims to reshape existing media narratives and to reduce stigma against women and the LGBTQI+ communities in Central America.

The fellowships will be led by local media trainers and supported by expert guest speakers, including women’s rights and LGBTQI+ advocates.

Hostile Environment and First Aid Training (HEFAT)

The IWMF is committed to helping journalists improve their ability to report safely through physical and digital security trainings. Throughout 2019 and 2020, the IWMF will train journalists and frontline defenders for human rights in El Salvador and Guatemala.

Trainer Bios


Daniel Villatoro García works as a trainer for SocialTIC and coordinates the School of Data for Latin America program. He is a freelance journalist. His work can be seen in outlets like Univision, ProPublica, and Radio Ambulante (USA); El Faro (El Salvador); Convoca (Peru); Plaza Pública and OjoConMiPisto (Guatemala); and Travesías Media (Mexico). He has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences from the Rafael Landívar University and a master’s degree in Political Science and Experimental Design. Daniel is a consultant for media outlets and tech projects. He is an instructor for courses at the OAS, the IDB, and the Latin American Initiative of Open Data. He co-founded Visibles, a communications project that reflects on the LGBTI community in Guatemala’s public agenda. He has won the TRACE Award for Investigative Journalism and the Journalistic Excellence Award from the Inter American Society of the Press, on two occasions. He has been a finalist for the Gabriel García Márquez and Roche Awards and has exhibited his artistic work in Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica. He was a fellow of the School of Data for Latin America and continues organizing courses and workshops about research methods applied to journalism.

El Salvador

María Luz Nóchez has been a staff journalist for El Faro since 2011 and has coordinated the Opinion section since 2019. She specializes in covering arts and culture, minority groups (the LGBTI community and indigenous people), and violence against women. In 2017, her piece “A paradise for child molesters” won the Latin American Award for Investigative Journalism from the Journalism and Society Institute and Transparency International. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences.

Élmer L. Menjívar is a journalist and literary. He’s specialized in cultural content, critique, and essay writing. He worked on articles devoted to culture and politics at La Prensa Gráfica, and he was also a journalist and editor of the El Ágora section of El Faro. He collaborates with various national and international media outlets, like Revista Factum, Avianca Revista, Literofilia, Sin Etiquetas, and Distintas Latitudes, among others. Since 2011, he’s been an activist and cofounder for Colectivo Normal, a citizen movement that works for the rights of LGBTI people. He has published three poetry books, Poemas (Mazatli, 1997), Otros poemas (UTEC, 2005) and Poemas que no enamoran (Índole, 2017). He has a cultural blog and a literary blog.