Since the 1990s, indigenous communities from Ecuador have migrated to the United States, particularly to New York City and other urban centers, to escape an economic recession back home that has hit indigenous peoples the hardest. But despite their sizable population, Kichwas are often rendered invisible among Ecuadorians and the larger Latino population.
Since 2014, Kichwa Hatari is considered the first radio program in Kichwa in the U.S, aimed at reaching the Quechua/Kichwa population in the United States, particularly in New York. The program’s founding rose from an awareness by its founders of the social and cultural issues confronted by Kichwa migrants in New York City: issues stemming from a lack of cultural sensitivity in institutions like courts, schools, and hospitals (e.g. lack of Kichwa interpreters). It was founded and is currently produced by Segundo J. Angamarca, Fabian Muenala, Charlie Uruchima.
Today, Kichwa Hatari is blending radio and community work into a one-of-a-kind project that is as much about revolutionizing radio airwaves as it is about cultural/linguistic empowerment and grassroots social organizing.