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The following item is taken from pages 122-123 of LA-DXing, 4th Edition (1987), as published by Radio Nuevo Mundo. It was written by Takayuki Inoue Nozaki and is placed here with permission.

There are two gateways connecting Guatemala and Honduras: one is Esquipulas (located in southern part of Departamento de Chiquimula) to Nueva Ocotepeque de Honduras, and the other is Chiquimula (located in northwestern part of Departamento de Chiquimula, the capital of the Department) to the frontier. I took the latter, because on the way to Copan, where exist ruins of Maya Culture, here is a small village called Jocotan. Jocotan is well known to DXers as location of a Guatemalan SW'er TGCH Radio Chortis. The station is heard as far as in Japan on the frequency of 3380kHz (90mb).

On May 15, 1985, I took a bus of a Empresa "Rutas Orientales from Guatemalan capital city to Chiquimula: it took 3 and a half hours and it costed only 3 Quetzales (i.e. one US doller). As I reached there at evening, there were no transportation media to the frontier. I was informed that buses leave only in the morning at 6, 9 and 12 hours. So I put up at "Pension Hermano", located very near to the Plaza Central, where there is the bus terminal.

Checking in the pension, I switched on my Sony ICF-6700D, looking for local stations: TGAS Radio Cultural "Amigos" on FM 106.7MHz stereo (sked:1120-2110) & TGAL R.La Voz de la Perla de Oriente on MW 990kHz and FM 102.6MHz monaural (nominal frequency is 99.5MHz) simulcast (sked:0500-2200). Also TGCH was well heared in SW, which made me happy with a feeling that I was already very near to Jocotan.

The next day, May 16, I took a microbus of "La Empresa Vilma" to Jocotan. The bus run on a firmed way (unpaved), picking up and unloading passengers of communities along the road. One and a quarter hours later, my little excursion was ended, arriving at a mountainous village of Jocotan, where TGCH Radio Chortis is located. Jocotcan is situated 27km from Honduran frontier. Its population is 2500 approximately. There exist a central park, a cathedral, a church, a police station, a public office, primary and junior high schools, a post office, 2 very cheap hotels, some shops, stands and a small central market ... as well as a radio house.

The station is located in a building of "Centro Social", two blocks from central park. They have so small a signboard showing "Radio Chortis" Painted green that I nearly failed to miss it.

Announcer, Sr. Arnoldo Gutierrez (in charge of program "Amanecer Campesino" at 0615-0700) showed me the station. They have 2 studios: one for a regular broadcasting and the other for emergency use / recording program production. The latter is donated by Radio Nederland in 1980. 'The same facilities are equipped in both studios: -'LSB" console mixer, "RCA" microphone, 2 "Ampex" ATR-700 open decks, 2 Russco" disc players and Technics M-215 cassette tape deck. I have not encountered such a complete studio facilities even in Guatemala City. They also have a large sound proof room for music performance and program recording. In the tape/disk library "Discoteca", there are disks like ranchera, marimba, religious music, popular music in Spanish, as well as recorded tape "El Maestro en Casa" (an educational program produced by Instituto Guatemalteco Educaci6n Radiof6nico) or tapes sent from overseas Christian organization.

History of the station

Radio Chortis was founded on August 4, by Jocotcan Catholic Church for the purpose of complete promotion of indigena farmers, education of indian adult, and evangelization. Naturally they continue to play a role as a medium of communications in Jocotcan in addition to cultural /educational and religious activities.

That is "Avisos" which treats communication between listeners. Aviso is heard in "Amanecer Campesino" the morning and "Atardecer Campesino" in the night. Incidentally 10 centavos are required for the message service and the revenue is used for broadcasting activities . From 1970 to 1974, they broadcasted commercial advertisements... this lead to decrease the number of agricultural listeners and that the program quality was declined... so the program director was replaced in 1975 and program schedule was rearranged. In 1976, a radio school was re-opened and tried its best to educate indigenas on literacy. Station name "Chortis" derives from "Chorti", a local language used in a part of Chiquimula department. They have a program the vernacular, however, there are only few people who can understand the language even in Jocotcan village. So the program is broadcast for only 30 minutes on Saturday. Other programs in Spanish.

Technical Information

TGCH broadcasts on SW 3380kHz (90mb) at 0600-0800 and 1630-2200. Transmitter (maximum lkW, normally 850W) is "Collins" 2OV-3, connected to half wave horizontal dipole, (20 m high) antenna. Service area includes Chiquimula, Zacapa, Izabel and also audible in Northern Guatemala and northeastern part of Honduras. Geographic location of the transmitter site Lat. 140 491 18" / Long. 890 231 30".


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