Cusco (6173 kHz)
The history of Peru comes alive
in the city of Cusco (spelled also as Cuzco or Qosqo,
the politically most correct version). Cusco, at
an altitude of 3300 meters, used to be the heart
of the Inca empire - Qosqo meaning the navel of
the world. The inca nation was called Tahuantinsuyu
(or Tawantinsuyo), meaning the four corners of the
world. And its current voice, Radio Tawantinsuyo,
indeed reaches the four corners of the world.
I picked up Radio Tawantinsuyo
years ago on 6173 kHz, off the nominal frequency
of 6175 kHz. Long ago the station used also 4910
kHz in the 60 meter band. Locally it is received
on 91.3 FM and regionally on 1190 kHz AM.
Radio Tawantinsuyo is located
on Cusco's main street, Avenida del Sol 806, but
mail can be sent to Casilla 39. On the street level
there is a counter where listeners can leave their
paid messages, mensajes, which is the main
source of income for the station. A studio is located
on the same level, while offices are upstairs.
Radio Tawantinsuyo claims to
be the most popular station in Cusco. It was founded
in 1948. Station manager, Ing. Raúl Montesinos
Espejo has been in charge throughout the years.
Recently a book about his long career and the history
of his station was published under the title Una
Vida y un Rumbo.
The office of Montesinos is covered
by diplomas. Some of them are from Bolivia, where
Montesinos began his broadcasting career in 1941
by founding Radio Rural in the city of Cochabamba.
Today the same station is known as Radio Cultura
(1090 kHz). The Cusco station was also began on
mediumwaves under the name Radio Rural. Competition
with Radio Cusco was fierce, but eventually there
was room for both. In 1955 a shortwave transmitter
was added, and in 1956 the station was officially
renamed Radio Tawantinsuyo.
Montesinos has always wanted
to promote the indigenous culture of the heirs of
the Inca nation. The format of Radio Tawantinsuyo
- mostly traditional folk music (huaynos) - is an
expression of this. In 1973 Montesinos initiated
the creation of the flag of Tawantinsuyo, which
today decorates the Plaza de Armas (central
square of Cusco) along with the official Peruvian
Montesinos has founded and named
after himself a museum of traditional local clothing.
An item from the collection is featured on the Radio
Tawantinsuyo folder used as a QSL. Montesinos is
also involved in the most famous Cusco festival,
the Inti Raymi (the Festival of the Sun),
held annually on June 24th. That's when the day
is shortest, and fires are lit to bring back the
Montesinos is happy that his
station can be heard abroad - but he's not known
for having much interest in verifying reception
reports. At my request, I received verifications
for myself and five other Finnish DXers (Jarmo Havukunnas,
Markus Salonen, Jim Solatie, Ilkka Suni and Hannu
on April 22nd 2000)