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Radio Yura (4716 kHz)

by Mika Mäkeläinen

Radio Yura appeared on shortwave in spring 2000. The nominal frequency is given as 4715 kHz, but the station has been heard on approximately 4716.76 kHz. In comparison with many other Bolivian stations, the deviation is minimal.

I picked up the station for the first time on Sunday, April 30th 2000, with an extended live transmission from some local fiesta. I listened to the station from 2300 UTC for about three and a half hours, until the signal faded out because of sunrise in Finland. During all this time, only a few announcements were given from the studio.

Radio Yura is located in the town of Yura, Provincia Antonio Quijarro, Departamento de Potosí. The project to set up the radio station was launched five years ago by a Catholic TV station Canal 18 UHF, explains Rolando Cueto, journalist and director of the TV station.

First they were able to get an AM transmitter with a power of 2.5 kilowatts on the frequency of 1200 kHz. The station has not been listed in the WRTH. Over the years, the transmitter deteriorated and they decided to replace it with a 1-kilowatt shortwave transmitter. The shortwave equipment was installed in the end of March 2000, says Cueto.

The radio station is dedicated to preserving what is left of the original culture before Spanish conquistadores. According to Cueto, the original culture has practically disappeared in parts of the Bolivian altiplano, but appears almost intact in the region of Yura.

A special feature of this culture is an organizational form called the ayllu. The station is catering to the needs of the local population and thus uses the slogan La Voz de los Ayllus.

But yes, listening to the radio is one-way communication. DXers need to get their voice heard as well... luckily, the mail service operates in this remote region, and you don't need any detailed street address to get your reports delivered. More surprisingly, the station also has access to the Internet, and verie signer Rolando Cueto replied to me by e-mail. Poor Cueto - now his mailbox is destined to be flooded, hopefully not only with uninteresting QSL requests.

(published on July 4th 2000)

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