Radio Kalewche FM was developed as a project of Mapu Association with the goal to provide an independent and community radio broadcast station in and around Esquel, Chubut, a Patagonia province in Argentina. As only commercial radios broadcasted in Esquel until late 2010, a community radio was much needed.
Radio Kalewche FM went live during November 2010 after installation of all required equipment and according licenses have been received. The channel launched regular broadcasting on January 24th, 2011, with a morning news program –La Tijereta- a 4 hour live program with local, regional, national and international information, accompanied by a broad music selection.
Current broadcasting is run by approx. 10 people arranging for the regular daily program and music selection in addition to another 10 people providing their support and time to different local programs. MAPU Association volunteers do also regularly work as supporter to the radio station.
The 8 hour daily live broadcasting programs focus mainly on topics which are important to the community such as the defence of the environment and water resources, the Mapuche communities struggles for their land and cultural recognition, gender issues, revival of the Mapuzungun languages, etc. The radio also promotes cultural activities, workshops, education and training programs.
Kalewche FM is operated by the community itself with support by Mapu association. The idea is to provide a non-commercial and sustainable space for the community to tell its own stories, to empower the voiceless and train young people in modern communication skills. A key objective is to offer those with little opportunity access to all media and the chance to participate in every aspect of the radio.
Kalewche FM coverage area:
- Potentially 32’000 listeners in the area of the city of Esquel
- People throughout the world with an interest in the social and environmental issues of the region, who can access the radio online 24/7.
Construction work for Kalewche FM was finalized in November 2010 with the support and help of friends of Kalewche FM, the community of Esquel and also volunteers working for Mapu Association. The broadcasting studio is equipped with all necessary equipment to produce and broadcast 24x7 hours of radio programs.
Currently no further investments are necessary in regards to the broadcasting studio, but obviously there are recurring maintenance and running costs, such as salaries, license fees, etc.
Kalewche FM only aims at a balanced budget and at complementary support to sustain our project in a viable way. Being independent, any costs must be self-financed by publicity spots (currently being planned), donations and potential grants.
Donations through www.betterplace.org will provide Kalewche FM with funds to keep running its radio programs and education and training projects.