Monday, July 02, 2012

On Air with Alarcón

Welcome to Radio Ambulante from Radio Ambulante on Vimeo.

Daniel Alarcón, author of Rights Readers selection Lost City Radio, has a new project, Radio Ambulante, an audio/podcast series that's a kind of This American Life for Spanish speakers. The goal of the program is to create a community of storytellers and listeners from around Latin America and the United States. The program is the first of its kind in Spanish. Of course, Peruvian radio figures in the plot of Lost City, but Alarcón explained his longtime affinity for radio to KPCC
Daniel Alarcón grew up in Alabama. "We had to speak Spanish at home, in the house, and my father heard my sisters speaking English with a Southern twang and was sort of horrified," he said. "And then we started listening to NPR."

But Daniel's connection to radio came years before that--from his father. "His first job as a kid was as an announcer, calling soccer games in Arequipa, Peru," said Alarcón. "My sisters and I would gather on Sunday mornings in our parents bedroom and we would do these basically, now I think of them as radio programs, recorded onto cassettes where my dad would interview us and my mom would ask us what we've been doing in school and we would record our answers and we would mail them to Lima and our cousins in Lima would do the same thing."
Alarcón spoke recently at the Los Angeles Public Library and shared some of the program's first stories. You can listen to the presentation here. Don't worry if your Spanish is weak, enough of the program is in English to be enjoyable and it's not surprising to learn that Spanish language teachers have already latched onto the pedagogic potential of these stories
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