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TWR seeks a home in Colombia

Americas, Global, Colombia, radio, S America
14 December 2022

Many people work from home these days. For Estella Ferrucho, there’s no other choice.

Ferrucho is director of Radio Trans Mundial (RTM) Colombia, the Spanish-language equivalent of TWR (Trans World Radio). Although RTM has had a presence in Colombia for more than a decade, it doesn’t have a production studio.

TWR seeks to change that. The mission agency recently launched a campaign to raise the $142,300 still needed to convert an existing building into the much-needed studio.

Doing so will allow RTM Colombia to produce its own programs, said Annabel Torrealba, international director of Latin American and Caribbean-Hispanic ministries for TWR.

“They will produce something that will come from themselves about the needs they have,” she said. “It’s not somebody else telling them about their needs.”

The needs are significant in Colombia, a mountainous South American country with a population of nearly 51 million. A peace treaty officially ended the country’s long-running civil war in 2016. But violence and drug trafficking continue, Torrealba said, and much of the country is unsafe.

A Colombia studio also would provide a backup for next-door RTM Venezuela should that studio have to be evacuated, Torrealba said. Venezuela produces nine programs and accounts for about 50% of TWR’s Spanish production. But within the past five years, the political and economic conditions in Venezuela became so bad that an estimated 3 million Venezuelans now live in Colombia.

At some point the Venezuelan RTM team also might have to relocate, Torrealba said, although they would prefer to stay.

The studio will be in the capital city of Bogota at a site to be determined, Torrealba said. Once the project begins, it’s expected to take six to eight months.

“We are just hoping that more people join us in this project and help us to help the people in Colombia,” she said. “There are so many people we haven’t reached yet. They haven’t heard about the good news yet.”

Learn more about the Studio for Colombia project here.

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