Posted by: calloftheandes | December 30, 2010

Traffic Accident Leaves Indigenous Broadcaster Dead in Ecuador

Carlos Guamán Guilca

The manager of the first indigenous language radio station in Ecuador, José Carlos Guamán Guilca, died in a Riobamba hospital on Sunday, December 26. Three days earlier, Guamán had sustained serious injuries in a vehicle accident near that city in Ecuador’s highlands province of Chimborazo.

Mourners attended wake services for Guamán at Riobamba and at the village of San José de Tipin on Monday, December 27. A December 28 funeral service was held at the premises of Radio 950 AM in Colta, followed by burial in the nearby community of Guamote Tipin. Guamán is survived by his wife, Maria Lema, and their children.

Guamán, 31, had served as manager of the stations, Radio 101.7 FM “La Voz de AIIECH” (Asociación de Iglesias Indígenas Evangélicas de Chimborazo) in Riobamba and Radio 950 AM. He had also served on the board of the Confederation of Peoples, Communities, Organizations and Indigenous Evangelical Churches of Chimborazo, which announced news of his death on December 26.

As many as seven people were riding with Guamán when the accident occurred. The vehicle collided with a truck that apparently had an immobilized bus in tow when the crash occurred around 9:00 p.m. on December 23. Passengers Mario Shigla and his family were also hospitalized following the crash. Among those in the vehicle were an announcer from the station and a vocalist, Astimbay.

Another vocalist, Piedra Viva, is heading up a radio sharathon for Sunday, January 9, 2011 to raise funds for Guamán’s survivors and to cover hospitalization costs incurred before his death.

Nearly 140 people died over the Christmas weekend in Ecuador, with traffic fatalities leading the death toll. Sixty-one people died in road accidents, according to Ecuador’s National Police. Of 216 injuries over the weekend, 167 were injured in traffic mishaps.

La Voz de AIIECH began in 1961 after missionary, Dr. Donald Dilworth’s efforts in establishing a station. His friend and the Chimborazo provincial governor, Federico Martínez, arranged for Dilworth’s attendance at a banquet for Ecuadorian President José Maria Velasco Ibarra. Upon hearing of Dilworth’s need for a radio permit, the president told a secretary, “Whatever they request, make sure they receive it.” The permit granted gave Dilworth 89 days to be on the air. He raised funds and with technical support from HCJB Global Voice, he put radio station, HCUE-5 on the air in 88 days. Almost immediately, the station was shown to be an effective communications instrument among the Quichua-speaking people.

In the early years of operation, 70 fix-tuned radios were sold in 13 Quichua communities, garnering a high level of interest in this new communications medium. It was not uncommon to see 20 to 30 people gathered around to listen to a single radio.

Sources: HCJB Global, CRE, La Voz de ACIIECH, Misión Buen Samaritano, El Telégrafo, Vistazo, EFE, Facebook


  1. […] training the national Christian workers to operate the stations to be gratifying. Both stations continue operating […]

  2. […] harvested or eyed by developers, some antenna tower sections were repurposed. They now serve at Ecuador’s first evangelical indigenous station, La Voz de AEIICH, high in the Andes at Colta in Chimborazo province. Missionary Hermann Schirmacher said that other […]

  3. hermanos q Senor le bendiga

  4. I am so sorry, and we are praying for his family at HCJB Global headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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