Radio Ixchel, Guatemala




"Radio Ixchel, like most of the thousands of unlicensed stations operating in Guatemala, is staffed by volunteers and funded through the goodwill of its listeners. It broadcasts sixteen hours a day of alcoholism counseling, health advice, and children’s programming—plus lots of marimba.

According to Danielle Deluca, the program officer for the Guatemala Radio Project, if a community radio station wants to operate legally, it would have to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase a frequency license in a government auction. Such a sum is out of the question in a village like Sumpango, where laborers make $4 a day and it’s a struggle just to scrape together Ixchel’s $250-a-month budget.

So what’s a station director like Radio Ixchel’s Anselmo Xunic to do? With somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 listeners tuning in every day, he’s determined to keep broadcasting on a frequency that he doesn’t own. "

by Connor Boals
(here & here)