Curated by Martina Castro from Adonde Media
Adonde Media is a bilingual podcast production company based in New York and Latin America. Founder and CEO Martina Castro’s listening of late has been occupied with Spanish-language podcasts, and has shared her top picks with RadioPublic.
I launched Adonde Media to help create podcasts in both English and Spanish that honor the intimacy and authenticity of the human voice. Yes, we believe in using sound design, high-quality recording, and creative production to bring stories to life in audio, but at the core is that natural, unfiltered, down-to-earth, human voice that has been the engine of powerful storytelling since the beginning of time.
I’ve discovered several Spanish-language podcasts that reflect these values in their work, more than are included here. Also, I’m a bit more familiar with podcasts from Argentina, Spain, Uruguay, and Chile, so this is by no means a comprehensive view of what is out there. Instead, I hope this serves as an introduction to the community of podcasters and audio storytellers en español, one that I hope you will get to know even better as it continues to grow.
1Radio Ambulante (USA) is on my list not just because I am co-founder of the show, but because it brings together all of the elements I love in a good podcast — narrative journalism, creative sound design, and a variety of stories that take me all over Latin America and the U.S. to laugh, cry, and learn.
2Las Raras (Chile) is a narrative journalism podcast that tell “historias de libertad,” or stories of freedom. The producers go to great lengths to find unique stories of people defying the status quo both inside Chile and elsewhere in the region. The original music and sound design combine with the storytelling to make this my favorite Spanish-language podcast right now.
3I am not usually a fan of audio fiction, but within the first two minutes of the first episode of El Gran Apagón (Spain), I was hooked. This faux-documentary tells the story of how people in Spain dealt with the effects of a worldwide blackout. The sound design is impeccable, putting you inside a world of uncertainty, fear and paranoia.
4El amor después (Argentina) is a dive into all things love. The hosts mashup answers from longform interviews with six people of various sexualities on topics from falling in love with a friend, rejection, mistrust, and learning to live with your partner. It is an intimate and culturally relevant analysis of love’s significant for an Argentinean, but also for just about anyone.
5Pernocte (Argentina) is a documentary series that requires some knowledge of Argentinean slang, but it is well worth the effort. I don’t think any other culture could give such a frank and entertaining analysis of sex and it’s role in our lives. The tagline says it all — “it is not a documentary about all the things you’ve ever wanted to know about sex, but were too afraid to ask. It’s about all the things you’ve always wanted to do in your sex life, but were too afraid to try.” It’s informative, raw, and fun.
6Melvin Rivera Velázquez is a marketing strategist in Florida and has been analyzing the podcast industry in both Spanish and English since September of last year in this weekly podcast. He highlights different Spanish-language podcasts, but also talks with entrepreneurs who are innovating in the space and highlights various tools that could be useful to wanna-be podcasters. Vía Podcast (USA) is a great way to stay up to date on how the Spanish-language podcast industry is evolving.
7 El Valle de los Tercos (USA) translates to “the valley of the stubborn,” which is an apt name for a show that features the stories and insights of latino entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. The conversations on the show offer a refreshing reminder that not all stereotypes about the successful startup entrepreneur hold true.
8“Walls that sing,” “The incredible woman who talks with animals,” “How expensive it is to be poor” — these are just a few of the many sound-rich stories you can hear on Así Como Suena (México). The podcast features reports from all over México about family, immigration, heart-break. It’s like what All Things Considered might sound like in Mexican Spanish.
9This podcast about politics in Europe and the U.S. has three hosts — journalists María Ramírez and Eduardo Suárez, and then Politibot, a bot that was originally created to inform people about the elections in Spain via the social messaging platform Telegram. Now, Politibot (Spain) comes to life as co-host of this bi-weekly podcast and also deliver headlines and podcast episodes to the audience via Facebook Messenger. The insightful and innovative podcast was just nominated for the prestigious Gabriel García Márquez award from FNPI in Colombia in the category of Innovation.
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