Over the past 15 years, I spent nearly every day speaking Spanish, whether in academic settings, work settings, or among friends. My husband doesn’t speak it, and after moving to another state, going from working in an office to working from home, and giving birth to my son, I was feeling isolated and the absence of Spanish in my daily life was palpable.
I looked for podcasts in Spanish to fill the gap, even if only a little bit, but I found very few. That’s to say, very few that were comparable to my favorite podcasts in English and that were produced here in the United States; among them was Radio Ambulante, but not many others.
As a hypothetical exercise, I started to map out what I would have to learn and do to create a podcast in Spanish myself. I already had the perfect name for it: the registered name of my business was “Tertulia” (which is a word that literally refers to a gathering for conversation but that also represents a Spanish-speaking cultural tradition). On the other hand, I didn’t have much experience in journalism, recording, sound editing, and the like. In the end, I decided to seriously move forward with the project because I at least had other, less tangible resources: desire and time.
In the fall of 2016, I decided to launch the podcast in January 2017. After making that decision, two things happened that served as further motivation for me: the presidential election and the incorporation of Radio Ambulante as the first Spanish-language podcast to be distributed by NPR.
Right now it’s more important than ever to create spaces where the use of Spanish is valued and the multicultural voices that make this country such a creative and productive place are celebrated. I hope that Tertulia will be one such space.
It’s also important to acknowledge that many project that the United States will soon be home to the second-largest Spanish-speaking community in the world. The language is spoken at home by over 35 million Latinos and 2.6 million non-Latinos, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
So here’s the formal introduction: Tertulia is a podcast in Spanish where guests are invited to talk about their cultural, artistic, and professional projects as well as the daily idiosyncrasies of bilingual and bicultural life in the United States. (read more)
The podcast was released on January 5, 2017, and just to give you an idea, the first few guests include two Dominican poets, a bilingual education researcher, and a bilingual children’s music duo. (You can read descriptions of the episodes in the original Spanish version of this post.)
Deseándote una buena tertulia,