Arts and Culture

Latino Radio: Tuning Into Culture

CTLN’s list of Latino-based media sources that represent the diversity and vitality of the Latino community

By Annika DarlingCTLatinoNews.com

Radio is a big part of Latino culture in Connecticut. Traditionally, it was used as a town-crier, bringing the community together for local announcements. Today, it is used in much the same way, and it has remained an important source for Latinos in the U.S.

However, it has evolved with the community. Now Latinos have more media sources to choose from and these different media sources all have a specialty with which they choose to serve the Latino community. Some are podcasts that provide a platform for social issues, others are radio shows that dig up and share specific genres of Latin music, and still, others choose to unite the community through comedy. Below we have compiled a list of some of our favorite Latino podcasts and radio shows; an amalgamation that represents the vitality and diversity of the Latino community.

Each one is distinguishable from the next, and each one is doing their part to raise social awareness and celebrate and strengthen the Latino community in their own way. 


Latino USA

Latino USA has a long-standing reputation as a reputable source for Latino news. It has been around for more than a quarter of a decade and shows no signs of slowing down, and as the Latino population in the U.S. is only growing, this radio program should have a steadfast audience for some time. This is NPR’s only weekly national Latino news program and Maria Hinojosa (award-winning journalist and founder of the Futuro Media Group which produces the show) anchors the show. The content reflects the diversity of the U.S.; one week Latino USA will focus on parenthood, then the next discuss the history of Latino hip-hop, and then the following week will dive into intersectional identities. No matter the topic, the shows are always engaging and informative.  

Check out their latest episode titled The Quevedos, about Sayre Quevedo who unravels a family mystery. 


Justin Favela (glasses) and Emmanuel Ortega record an episode of Latinos Who Lunch in a house in Denver, Colorado on Dec. 7, 2016.

Latinos Who Lunch

This podcast has a broad content range, like that of Latino USA. However, you will find that hosts Justin Favela (“FavyFav”) and Emanuel Ortega (“Babelito”) veer towards more LGTBQ topics, identity politics, and pop culture. In that sense, this podcast is a bit edgier than Latino USA’s and they bring up issues a lot of other media sources don’t talk about. As a whole, they definitely delve into some seriously relevant topics for the Latino community: identity, food, family, history … and they do it in a humorous way so it’s fun, casual and never too heavy to handle. A very enjoyable and culturally topical podcast. Note: curse words are not off the table with this one. 

Listen to their most recent episode Hasta Luego, where they talk about food condiments, chorizo, the movie Us, homelessness and more. 


Radio Ambulante

Radio Ambulante is about telling stories, really good stories. Hosts (both Latino journalists) Daniel Alarcón and Carolina Guerrero, utilize long-form journalism to capture fascinating, heartfelt stories from Latino cultures around the world. This is a Spanish-language podcast, which should make English-only speakers very jealous, as this is such a great podcast. You can expect to hear Latino success stories, or jaunts down memory lane (like what metal music was like in the 80s in Havana), or even discover and learn about fun little stores in Bogotá, Colombia. Radio Ambulante’s website describes this podcast as telling “uniquely Latin American stories,” and that’s precisely what they do. This is a very rewarding listen. 

Listen to one of their great stories here


Ana Sheila Victorino (left) and  Brenda Gonzalez

Tamarindo Podcast

This is an English-language podcast, hosted by Brenda Gonzalez and Ana Sheila Victorino. These Latino women create a really warm tone together in this podcast, and this tone enables them to deal with deep social topics in a very sensitive way. It is lighthearted and socially conscious, and that is how they describe their podcasts themselves: “A lighthearted show where hosts discuss politics, pop culture, and how to balance it all con calma.” Gonzalez and Victorino are both very intelligent and well informed. You can always count on these two politically savvy women to keep you abreast on what is going on, your rights and give you suggestions on dealing with the current climate and obstacles within.

Start listening here, today. 


Verónica Bayetti Flores and Miriam Zoila Pérez (right)

Radio Menea

With Radio Menea telling you about the hosts is informative of what kind of podcast this is. While this is a music-based podcast, and music is certainly the backbone of the show, Verónica Bayetti Flores and Miriam Zoila Pérez definitely spend some time on-air talking about social issues, pop culture and their experiences as queer Latinas in the U.S. Pérez is a writer and activist and is interested in topics such as the intersection of race, health and gender. Flores is also a writer and has advocated for reproductive justice, immigrants’ rights and LGTBQ liberation. As to their music, as stated on their homepage, they are “two friends with wildly different tastes in music,” so you can expect to hear a wonderfully wide range of music, from alternative to mainstream, and in between songs be a part of a larger political and social discussion.

Listen to Radio Menea now.


Founders Felix Contreras and Jasmine Serena Garsd

Alt.Latino

When you tune into Alt.Latino you tune in to the world of host Felix Contreras, and the world of Felix Contreras is one where the love of music runs deep. This is such a cool podcast for anyone who enjoys discovering new, incredible sounds. Contreras interviews musicians who all have interesting backgrounds and unique perspectives on life and music. The interviews are always conversational and light and really help listeners to understand the musicians further. And music … wherever he goes to dig up the bands he plays on this radio show must be a hidden treasure trove full of talent. Listen to one show and mainstream music will be ruined for you forever. 

Listen to the newest episode with an interview with musician and She Shreds Magazine founder. 


Latino Rebels

Latino Rebels isn’t a veteran podcast like Latino USA, but the two have a lot in common and Rebels even shares the more seasoned show’s content on their website, as they are both part of Futuro Media. They are clearly inspired by and replicate Latino USA’s style, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. In fact, this has led Latino Rebels to receive a nomination from iHeart Radio for the 2019 Best Multicultural Podcast. So this podcast should definitely be on your list. They have worked hard the past few years to really prove that they have their finger on the pulse of the Latino community. The host of the show is Julio Ricardo Varela.

Listen to their latest episode with an interview with Agatha Bacelar, the 27-year-old Brazilian-American challenging for the most powerful Democrat with her fun for U.S. Congress in California. 


Latina Theory

This is certainly a Latina geared podcast, but any gender would most likely find Maria Isa and Arianna Genis’s topics interesting. Any and all current events are game on this podcast, while others like the Me Too Movement are a must. They like to highlight strong Latinas and discuss political and social topics that most affect this gender, while mixing it up with fun music choices and political topics. This is a Spanglish podcast, which gives it a unique flare and a fun Latino tone. 

Explore the podcast here


Latino Talk

Philly-Rican Ray Collazo will bring up topics in a way that makes you contemplate the world around you. His insightful, informed zeitgeist is addictive and you’ll want to soak up every word. Get to the bottom of some serious issues in the Latino world with this podcast, or be inspired by enlightened interviews, or simply be entertained with topical discussions. Enjoy special guests, all with their own expertise and information regarding the Latino landscape today. 

Check out this informative podcast here


La Esquina Latina

La Esquina Latina is the radio station in your backyard that simply plays great Spanish-language music. 89.5 FM WPKN, The Real Alternative, is an independent community radio station based out of Bridgeport, Connecticut. It originally started as a college station, which is why the station remains on the college campus, however, they are much more than that today. Listen to the musical curation of Edwin o Luis from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily. It is eclectic and traditional all at the same time. And hey, 1.5 million listeners can’t be wrong, right?!

Listen to the musical lineup here


Latinos Out Loud

Latinos Out Loud is a breath of fresh air. This weekly show is hosted by comedians Rachel La Loca, Juan Bago, JFernz and Frank Nibbs, who have been friends for 15 years. Their long standing friendship oozes through with the radio waves and even if you’re not in on the joke their goofy interactions are entertaining enough. Most of this podcast is the group going on tangents that usually end in laughter attacks and silly voices. You can tell they enjoy each other’s presence and when you tune in, you become a fly on the wall of these joyful and fun discussions. They aren’t silly the whole time … OK, maybe they are, but they do discuss serious issues but just always find a way to laugh about them. The world is serious and hard, take a break and tune into to Latinos Out Loud every now and again. 

Tune in here


Add Comment

Leave a Comment