Posted by: calloftheandes | March 5, 2013

Listeners Glad to See Faces of Radio Hosts at Live Broadcast in Ecuador

María Teresa Ramón, Mauricio Patiño and Martha Claudia Mosquera on mic at the school, Luz y Libertad.

María Teresa Ramón, Mauricio Patiño and Martha Claudia Mosquera on mic at the school, Luz y Libertad.

by Geoff Kooistra

The crowd of onlookers burst into song as Duval Rueda struggled with emotion to find the right expressions of gratitude to the radio listeners of Esmeraldas, Ecuador, who had come for a daylong broadcast. After they finishing the song, Rueda read aloud from notes he had prepared earlier, helping him contain his emotions.

“We thank God for the opportunity He has given us to be here in Esmeraldas,” Rueda began, then thanking those who had come. Some had two hours to spend time with the staff of Radio Station HCJB. Two rural families related earlier how they listen on battery-powered radios since they have no electricity.

Broadcasting to Esmeraldas—known as the “green province”—the FM repeater station carries programming by Rueda and others several hours away in Quito. The provincial capital, also called Esmeraldas, has some 200,000 residents—about a tenth the size of Quito.

Sixteen station staffers organized and carried out the live event on Friday, Feb. 22, in an effort to leave the four walls of the studio and better connect with various segments of the audience. The event followed closely after the annual Misión Compartida (Sharing the Mission) radio event in Quito in December 2012 when listeners pledged or donated US$218,000 for the station’s operational costs.4Q9Lk-v5jLkry7TnH-N1mUApE5LqoRQO-ivpK6CfEHY
The Esmeraldas event was the first “mini-Misión Compartida” with plans for more as well. HCJB-FM has repeaters and large listener followings in Esmeraldas and Manta at the coast and Ambato in the highlands. Interviewing some of the attendees, a local television station reporter was surprised to learn that Radio Station HCJB can be heard not only in Esmeraldas and Quito, but across much of Ecuador.

Broadcasting without a studio and in the open air brought logistical challenges. The live broadcast took place on a large patio that a school had made available for people to congregate and watch the event.

With the breezes blowing things over at times and threatening wind noise in the microphones, the outdoor setting posed challenges to members of the radio staff who made do with a simple, mobile console. Also providing problems was the public address speakers. People could take in the on-air show, but volume adjustments were needed on those speakers to diminish an on-air echo as the sound fed back through the microphones. Even accessing the Internet was not easy for Jimmy Sarango, the station’s social media coordinator, as well as for program hosts.

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Some 200 people, ranging in age from 3 years old to a woman named Laura almost 100-years old, came to say hello and watch the live event. Laura said she has listened for 60 years, dating back to within two decades of Radio Station HCJB’s first broadcasts in 1931. FM was added in 1973 in the provinces of Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Manabí and Esmeraldas. Laura told of having an inoperable broken leg and God’s miraculous healing. Others too came up to chat for a while, meet the producers, tell their stories of what God has done in their lives, give donations or make pledges to the station.

A 46-year-old man, Edwin Pozo told how he served a year in prison and listened faithfully to Radio Station HCJB, especially the biblical teaching, and soon began leading small Bible conferences with his fellow inmates. Even a prison psychologist asked Pozo for help.

People found new life in Christ through his teachings and the advice he offered when asked for it. Much of it came from listening to Al Oido (A Listening Ear), the afternoon counseling program hosted by Marco and Martha Claudia Mosquera. Found innocent of the charges against him, Pozo continues to minister at the prison, telling the staff at Radio Station HCJB, “God had a purpose when He allowed me to be jailed, and HCJB helped my complete that purpose.”

Duval Rueda, in the shirt emblazened with "HCJB" pauses for a photo.

Duval Rueda, in the shirt emblazened with “HCJB” pauses for a photo.

In his closing comments, Rueda said it was inspiring to meet many of the listeners face to face. “Before this we only had a general idea of our audience in Esmeraldas, but now we see faces—faces of friends who are our family in Christ,” he said, to which someone in the crowd cried out that the people in Esmeraldas were just as glad to see the people they listen to every day.

“We hope we’ll have another opportunity to see you,” he added. “But if we cannot return to see you here, we will see you in heaven. That I assure you.”

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Responses

  1. […] 1 in Quito, with the event’s emcees recounting the background of the media outlet, telling about its dedicated staff and explaining the influence of the outlet’s impact on […]


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