Five days later, alive but suffering from high fever as
a result of catching salmonella in the jungle, I visited
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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 sun.
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 Tikkanen).
Finnish journalist and DXer Mika Mäkeläinen
1-12 in Peru, to cover
the 2000 presidential election,
also found time to visit some Peruvian radio stations.
Full report on Mäkeläinen's
web site, a HCDX partner site.