With Radio Ambulante Partnership, NPR Has Its First Spanish-Language Podcast

It's hosted by novelist Daniel Alarcón.

Photo credit: Hugo Rojo/NPR

Photo credit: Hugo Rojo/NPR
Photo credit: Hugo Rojo/NPR
A partnership announced today between NPR and the five-year-old Radio Ambulante will give NPR its first Spanish-language podcast offering.

The podcast’s name translates roughly to traveling radio, a reference to the show’s coverage, through long-form storytelling, of countries throughout the Spanish-speaking hemisphere, as well as communities in the United States. The next season will include stories from Bogotá, Colombia and a book festival there, Puerto Rico and its economic crisis, Florida after the Pulse nightclub shooting and a story about host and executive producer Daniel Alarcón‘s native country of Peru.

“We couldn’t be happier, or prouder, to join forces,” Alarcón said in a statement. “There are more than 50 million Spanish speakers living in the US, and we too are part of the ‘public’ in ‘public radio.’ It’s exciting to be part of NPR, helping it sound a little bit more like America.”

And Alarcón’s own story, too, is very much an American one. Born in Peru and raised since he was three in Birmingham, Ala., he pursued an educational path that led him to Columbia University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and eventually to the publishing of his first novel, Lost City Radio. His most recent was At Night We Walk in Circles. When he isn’t writing novels or producing a radio show, he also writes for news outlets across the country, in both English and Spanish.

“Daniel Alarcón and the Radio Ambulante team are pioneers in audio storytelling in the Spanish language. Their ear for language, beguiling imagination and deep journalism are a rare combination,” said Anya Grundmann, NPR’s vice president of programming, in a statement. “Radio Ambulante is such a natural partner for NPR and will help us connect with important stories and communities in new ways.”

The season’s first episode will be available on NPR beginning Nov. 22.