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Background on Radio Horizonte

Chachapoyas, Peru

Explanation: The following is from a September 1996 e-mail that I had saved and just recently came across. This is a series of questions asked by DXer Henry Lazarus about a QSL he had just received from Radio Horizonte on 5020 in Chachapoyas and my answers to the questions. This was published in the Numero Uno newsletter a week or so later.


Original Spanish text: "Radio Horizonte es una emisora de educacion y promocion popular dependiente del Obispado de Chachapoyas....Nuestra programacion - con la perspectiva de una evangelizacion integral - es variada. Tenemos un informativo diario y programas musicales en los que se combinan temas de salud, agro, mujer, ecologia, derechos humanos etc."

Henry: Three things bother me: (1) the term "promocion popular", (2) the phrase "con la perspectiva de una evangelizacionintegral" and (3) the word "informativo".

(1) Is "promocion popular" a way of saying that the station is commercial as well as educational? If not, what does it mean? The words "popular promotion" just don't make sense to me.

Don: The word "popular" in this sense means "of the people" in a political sense. We don't normally use the word that way in English. (A rare usage is "popular uprising".) The use of the word "popular" in this context is very common in grassroots type organizing of the lower classes, including that done by base levels of the Roman Catholic church. (It's not as much liked by the head guy in Rome who is much more conservative that his predecessors.) "Promocion popular" means sort of doing things to promote the rights of the common people in society and to help them exercise their share of power in the political process.

Their description of their programming fits right in with this kind of station in Latin America. They have music and enterntainment so they can draw listeners from the commercial stations and keep them. But, they throw in educational, political, etc information as well. Although offhand I can't recall hearing any ads on Radio Horizonte when I've listened to them, they may have ads. Most Latin American countries (including Peru) do not make the legal distinction between commercial and non-commercial stations that we do. Thus, such stations will carry some ads to help support themselves. The ads, however, will usually be for small local businesses whose proprietors are members of the local church and support the aim of the station. It would be very unusual to hear ads for large commercial companies on this kind of station.

Henry: (2) the term "evangelizacion integral" is confusing. I understand that they are dependent upon, or connected with, the Diocese or Bishop's Headquarters of Chachapoyas and therefore perhaps she is just saying that all their programming is religious in nature, but evangelization is an unusual term for a Catholic station to use and I am confused by it.

Don: Evangelize (in English or Spanish) means to bring people to Christ. In the USA, "born again" Protestant Christians have sort of taken over use of the word. "Born again (Protestant) Christian" and "Evangelical" are taken to mean one and the same thing. That's often true in Latin America as well. However, it is incorrect to see Evangelization as only a born-again Protestant thing. Roman Catholics can bring people to Christ, too (as can Greek Orthodox, etc, too, I guess!). In this Roman Catholic sense, to evangelize still carries the meaning of going beyond just attending church on a weekly basis to the point of dedicating one's life to Christ. I've heard that the Roman Catholic church wants to reassert its right to use of the word here in the US. The same thing may be happening in Latin America. I have seen the word used in Catholic literature in Latin America.

I doubt very much that all their programming is religious in nature. (It wasn't when I listened.) On most stations of this type most programming is not religious, or at least not in the manner we think of it (as typified on your local AM/FM religious stations in the US). Programs on health, education, the political process, etc are not religious, as we think of it. However, from a theological perspective, they do involve carrying out Christ's work by helping one's fellow human beings, teaching people to take charge of their own lives and demand justice, etc. Of course, this is from a liberal/leftwing perspective. Most religious radio stations in the USA are politically conservative so we don't see this angle.

Henry: (3) The words "informativo diario" are also confusing - - is she talking about a daily newscast or a daily informational program. If you would translate ...

Don: This would be best translated as a daily newcast. However, it would likely include not only news at all levels (world, national, local) but also announcements of local events, meetings, etc. In a sense, it would fill the role of a newspaper here. There probably is no local newspaper in that region, and if there is most people (especially outside the city) don't get it and/or can't read it anyway.


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Association of North American Radio Clubs
DXer of the Year for 1995

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