ECUADOR: Podcasts

Cotopaxi, seen from Quito – Source: Malcolm Surgenor

Like the month I covered Chile, I struggled to find a lot of Ecuadorian podcasts in English, and I unfortunately don’t speak Spanish. Mainly these are podcasts about Ecuador, but there’s some really interesting interviews (and music!) in here. Another good one that I included in my post about the Galapagos is Radiolab’s report on the islands.

The Voyages of Tim Vetter: Ecuadorian Food and Culture with Abel Castro – A good interview with Ecuadorian restaurateur Abel Castro – they go over Ecuadorian cuisine in all its regional glory, plus unique Ecuadorian ingredients like naranjillas. Castro is based in New York and also touches on how to provide real authentic Ecuadorian food to a North American audience without compromising it – Americans turn out to have a weird aversion to eating corn on the cob in a sit-down restaurant.

The New Yorker: A Pandemic Tragedy in Guayaquil – Ecuador was hit hard and hit early by the pandemic, with the news picking up stories of bodies in the street in Guayaquil. This reporting (in podcast and article form) by Peruvian-American journalist Daniel Alarcón covers the awful start of the pandemic in Ecuador, the bureaucratic and systemic breakdown, and the human toll. Thankfully, Ecuador has been able to mobilize an impressive vaccination campaign, but the disruption and increase in violence and crime has created new challenges.

NPR: The Lost Tapes Of Caife: A Vintage Ecuadorian Record Label Revived – An interview with Daniel Lofredo Rota, a musician and producer in Quito about his discovery of long-lost recordings from the 50s and 60s from his grandfather’s record studio, how he has become a musical archivist through this, and how this valuable look into Ecuador’s musical past influences his own music now. A playlist of some of the records is available on Soundcloud.

BBC: 1995 Peru-Ecuador Border War – A look back at the 1995 war, including old media excerpts and recollections from officers who fought in the final Peru-Ecuador war.

Feel the Night Podcast – A US-based Latin music DJ podcast, with specials focusing on Ecuadorian chicha. Chicha is the Andean name for cumbia: upbeat folk tunes and rhythms, mixed into dance music (it’s also a local corn beer). These are incredible workout playlists, it’s hard to run on the treadmill without wanting to dance. Check out Episodes 396, 272, 261, 191, and 134 for some great Ecuadorian jams.

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