By Conor Sanchez
My palms were sweaty. My stomach was turning. I took a swig of water to calm my nervous as the DJ held up five fingers to signify the countdown to when we officially went live. It was go time. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and prepared to take to the airwaves of southeastern Nicaragua.
Ok, so I wasn’t that nervous. But it was my first time speaking Spanish on the radio and I had no idea who might be listening. Unlike the United States, where traditional radio use is in decline, people here really will spend a Sunday afternoon listening to local talk radio. Perhaps the mayor was listening. Perhaps my wife.
Regardless of who was out there, we wanted to do a good job. Although radio is still a significant method of news and information sharing here, a growing amount of citizens, especially youngsters, are carrying around smart-phones in their pockets. Which means it’s only a matter of time before podcasts and online radio overtake traditional radio. This is where my our heads were at during our premier broadcast of “Break Time for English.”
The impetus to do something like this came a few months ago, when my counterpart teacher Bayron and I were chatting about how we could promote bilingual education in the community. We talked about workshops, festivals, and singing contests, all of which have been done in about a thousand different ways. I told him I wanted something that took advantage of technology. A few days later, he came back to me with a great suggestion; “Let’s start a radio program,” he said.
It immediately made me think of a podcast I used to listen to called “Coffee Break Español,” a beginner Spanish radio program available on iTunes. After discussing our idea a little more and finding a station willing to give us 20 minutes of airtime every week, we decided we’d record these episodes with the hope of making them both downloadable and transferable. We’ll see where this goes…
Here is the episode in its entirety. Give it a listen!