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XEU - El Eco de Sotavento

Veracruz, Mexico

By Carl Huffaker


The following item is taken from pages 16-17 of the book Carl Huffaker's Latin Notebooks as originally published by SPEEDX. This book is a collection of Carl's columns in the SPEEDX magazine between 1986 and 1991. It is placed here with permission of SPEEDX.

JUNE 1987

"XE" is the Mexican radio prefix. The international assignment includes AAX to "XIZ," but the commercial stations are all "XE." The early assignments, in the days of three-letter calls, either added a "W' or duplicated the final letter of their call to indicate a shortwave repeater. The broadcast band station in Veracruz was assigned AEU," and the shortwave outlet was AEUW." The original slogan and station name was Radio Eco de Sotavento for both the mediurnwave and shortwave stations. "Sotavento" means the sheltered part of a harbor, a local name that dates back to the early days of sailing.

Some ten years ago, Radio Eco de Sotavento, following the lead of the stations with three-letter calls who indicated their age by using only the last letter, changed their name to "La U de. Veracruz." Mexico was among the early countries in educational radio, and provided each of the universities and branches, as well as the Secretariat of Education and the teachers' union, with a radio outlet. Several of these adopted the slogan "Radio Universidad de ..." which in the English station lists was soon abbreviated to "Radio U de ..."

In Jalapa, not far from the city of Veracruz, the university's mediumwave station used the name "Radio Universidad Veracruzana," but the idea that "La U was the university's shortwave outlet took hold. Recently, at the top of one hour, I heard three ID's on 6020: "La U de Veracruz;" a musical "X-E-U de Ver-a-cruz;" and "Eco de Sotavento." The first is, of course, the proper name to be used in your reports to the station and as a station name in your SPEEDX reports. The others are important program details and a convenient way of proving that you actually heard the station. Another local usage is that "La U" sometimes gives its address as "Puerto de Veracruz. " This is another old usage, reflecting the city's four and a half centuries as the gateway to Mexico.

Incidentally, both the city and the state are "Veracruz," not two words as they appear in some lists, so don't perpetuate that mistake.


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