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Radio Popular Independiente, Ecuador


The following item was written by Hirotsugu Nabeshima and is taken from Edition #5 (1992) of LA DXing (page 86-87), as published by Radio Nuevo Mundo It is placed here with permission.

In July, 1989, I was in Cajamarca, Peru. I had to go on north and cross the frontier into Ecuador, because the expiration date of my Peruvian tourist visa was coming. I took a bus to Chiclayo ("El Cumbre" US$ 3.00) , the most developed city in the north of the country. I stayed one night there. After visiting some MW radio stations, I continued my bus travel to go to Tumbes ("Transporte Nor Pacifico" US$ 3.50) . Tumbes is a small city with no sightseeing aspect but is situated very near to the frontier, some 20 minutes by car. The bus arrived there very early in the morning. I bought some Tumbes style bread (Each city in Peru has bread of its own style) and a glass of papaya juice. Having them on the street, a skinny dog came closer to me and was looking at me very enviously. Naturally I shared my breakfast with him, hi. After my breakfast, bidding farewell to the dog, I took a shared taxi (US$ 0.80) to go to the frontier. Aguas Verdes is a town which adjoins Ecuador. There were only an open - air market and an immigration office. I got an exit stamp on my passport and walked over the bridge across the frontier. Huaquillas is an Ecuadorian border town. This time, an officer at the immigration gave me an entry stamp with the permission of 30 day stay. As there was nothing to see in this town, I bought a bus ticket ("Azuay" US$ 1.90) at once and took my way to the next city, Cuenca, for the purpose of station visit. 6 hours later I was in Cuenca. The first night I stayed at an expensive hotel, "Hotel Las Amdricas" (US$ 5.00!) . When I visited Ecuador in 1989 the cost of living in Ecuador was cheaper than in Peru. Next morning I changed to stay at "Residencial Atenas" (US$ 1.80) . Generally I choose the cheapest class hotels on travel, hi.

The city of Cuenca is the capital of Department of Azuay, located at 2350 meters above sea level. It was founded in 1557 by Gil Ramirez Davalos, as the name of Santa Ana de los Rios de Cuenca. Cuenca is the center of important cultural life so it is called by the name of "Atenas del Ecuador". The population and industrial and commercial activities of Cuenca occupy the third place among the cities of Ecuador nowadays.

According to my survey monitor from July 15 to 18, 1989 in Cuenca, 13 MW radio stations from Cuenca and 4 MW stations from Azogues and 3 FM stations from Cuenca were heard. On SW only Radio Popular Independiente was active on 4800 kHz. But some days later in Quito, I confirmed that La Voz del Rio Tarqui was broadcasting on 3285 kHz. So there were at least two active SW radio stations in Cuenca as of 1989. There are some other familiar ex-SW radio stations in Cuenca which used to be heard around the world: Ondas Azuayas, Radio Splendit, Radio Cuenca, etc.

On July 17, 1989, I visited the studios of Radio Popular Independiente, which are located on the outskirts of the city. Leaving downtown, I walked along Av. Loja in rural area and at last after more than half an hour I found the station building, which is also a house of the Villavicencio family. I could not find any signboard at the street in particular, so confirming the address, Av. Loja 2-408, I knocked at the door. A young girl opened the door. I told her that I wanted to visit the radio station and she allowed me to enter the house. One room at the first floor was an administration office. The studios were in one room on the second floor. As the station is located on the outskirts of the city, they have their public attention office in downtown and at the bus terminal. Sra. Maria Lucrecia Villavicencio E. , who is a daughter of Gerente, welcomed my visit, and I was told that Gerente was out of the station at that time. I asked her to issue a QSL and give me some station information. While she was typing them, fortunately Sra. Manena Escandon de Villavicencio, Gerente/Propietaria, came back to the station. She was welcomed me very much. She told me that they had received many letters from abroad and some DX'ers had visited their studios, too. She showed me their studios and then gave me two record discs in remembrance of my visit. It was one of the impressive radio station visits for me by reason of the hearty welcome of the Villavicencio family.

Radio Popular Independiente, whose slogan is "La Voz del Austro", has the following nominal frequencies: 1230 kHz (HCMV5 2 kW) and 4800 kHz (HCMV5 5 kW), signs on at 04:45 (06:00 according to my monitor in July, 1989) and signs off at 00:30. As of late 1991, the reception of this station on 4745 kHz is reported by some DX'ers. On the special days like New Year, Carnival, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Day of Santa Rosa, Day of Romerias, they broadcst special programs for 24 hours without interruption. The present transmitters were fabricated by a certain Ecuadorian company in 1968. The antenna of MW is an "L" type with 15 meters high and that of SW is a dipole with 30 meters in length and 12 meters in height. The station was founded on January 27, 1956 by Mario S. Villavicencio, who died many years ago. I suppose that their authorized call sign "HCMV5" includes the initials of Mario S. Villavicencio, as it is a normal thing in Ecuador according to "Lafin America by Radio" page 19 written by Mr. Henrik Klemetz. At present the wife of the founder, Manena Escandon de Villavicencio, owns and directs the station. As of July, 1989, they had a plan to renew the transmitting equipment and antenna and to increase the output power to 10 kW in the near future.


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