In the long-form narrative format familiar to listeners of NPR’s “This American Life,” the Spanish-language radio program Radio Ambulante seeks to tell the untold stories of the Latino diaspora. The new monthly show is the brainchild of Carolina Guerrero and her husband, the novelist Daniel Alarcón. A translation of an article from Noticias is below:
A new radio program will give us the chance to know different stories from Latin America. It’s called Radio Ambulante (Traveling Radio), and it is an idea born of the need felt by its two founders, Carolina Guerrero and her husband, the writer Daniel Alarcón, to disseminate the vast number of stories which are spread from mouth to mouth by Hispanics all over the world, and which could easily be lost if it were not for Radio Ambulante.
Radio Ambulante, whose first episode was broadcast in May of this year after a year and a half of preparatory work, is the first Spanish-language radio program in the United States which uses the radio chronicle format. In spite of the very short time since its creation, Radio Ambulante has had a very good reception in the United States and Latin America. The program runs as a not-for-profit organization, and it has a network of collaborators in this country and throughout Latin America.
Radio Ambulante reconnects Hispanics living in the United States with their roots through stories narrated in a simple way and produced very creatively and professionally. The program transports its listeners to various places in Latin America through a variety of stories, from the most spine-tingling and strange to the most entertaining and unexpected.
“If Radio Ambulante did not exist, many of these stories would stay in the places where they are,” said Carolina Guerrero, Radio Ambulante’s Executive Director.
That’s the case with the story called “Señales que Precederán el Fin del Mundo” (“Signs that Will Precede the End of the World”), where the Mexican writer Yuri Herrera tells us the story of Makina, a Mexican girl who decides to go to the United States alone in search of her brother, and who never could have imagined what she was getting herself into, even putting her own life at risk. Or there is the story told by Annie Correal in the episode titled “N.N.” which takes place in a Colombian town called Puerto Berrío, where a local man, Julio Marín, saw more than 200 corpses floating down the Magdalena River. Those bodies had been thrown into the river after they had died violently at the hands of the paramilitary forces which have operated in that part of the country since the 1980s.
According to Carolina Gerrero, Radio Ambulante, which has begun as an Internet operation, will hit the airwaves very soon through several radio stations in this country and also in Latin America. Negotiations to that end have begun between the executives of Radio Ambulante and radio stations.
Radio Ambulante also intends to reach out to other radio producers who are interested in developing this kind of radio chronicle, and help prepare them to do so. This kind of program is unknown in Latin America, so in a couple of years there could be many more people trained to do this sort of work.
To hear the stories told on Radio Ambulante, visit its web page, www.radioambulante.org. Those who want to tell their stories, or the stories of Latinos living in any part of the world, can contact the program by sending an email to [email protected]