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Chota, Peru

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The following item is taken from Relampago DX #125 (January 2001) by Takayuki Inoue Nozaki. It is placed here with permission.

Por las Rutas del Perú (34) ...

Small and manageable, with an easy pace of life, graced with many handsome colonial buildings, white adobe and cement block row houses with red tile roofs, Chota is a beautiful and typical highland town in the Department of Cajamarca. It is situated at 06-33-42 L.S. and 78-39-30 L.W. at an elevation of 2382 meters. It has a friendly population of 34,778 in the town and the surrounding district according to the 1995 census. Chota lies on the tableland of Acunta and on the bank of the Chotano River, which forms a beautiful and important agricultural valley of undulated geographic features. The fertile soil of Chota with an ideal climate and an excellent rainfall yields abundant crops of potato, wheat, barley, maize, rice, coffee and a variety of vegetables and potatoes. The average annual temperature is 17.8 degrees centigrade. From May to October is generally the dry season. It is hot and dry during the day, and cold and dry at night. From November to April is the wet season, when it is dry and clear most mornings with some rainfall in the afternoons.

The highland region, in which the Province of Chota lies, was settled in ancient times by divers cultures such as Los Huambos in the west and Cusimango in the east, having been greatly influenced by the Chavin, Wari and Mochica cultures. There are several ancient settlements in the region such as Pacopampa, Rejopampa and Negropampas. These archeological settlements have traces of these ancient cultures on their structures and relics. In the middle of the 15th century, the region was incorporated into the Inca Empire, ruled by Tupac Yupanqui, but subsequently in 1534, conquistadors dominated it.

On November 1, 1552, Chota was founded by Augustinian Father Juan Ramirez with the name of "Todos los Santos de Chota". As naming a colonial settlement was formerly habituated to employ a patron saint name plus a place name, the first part corresponded to the foundation, the date of All Saints and the second part to Chot or Chota, a name of an ancient populated center, located a few kilometers from Chota, which is nowadays called Coyunde. Chota is derived from the Quechua word "Chutay" which means "stretch".

The Province of Chota was established on May 19, 1828 in the Department of Cajamarca. It borders on the Department of Amazonas to the east along the Maranon River and is surrounded by the Province of Cutervo to the north, the Provinces of Santa Cruz, Hualgayoc and Celendin to the south, and the Department of Lambayeque to the west. The Cordillera Central ranges from north to south, splitting the Province of Chota into the highlands to the west and the lowlands to the east. The Province of Chota, which encompasses 3,968.75 square kilometers, is politically divided into the following 19 districts: Anguia, Cochabamba, Conchan, Chadin, Chiguirip, Chalamarca, Chimban, Choropama, Chota, Huambos, Lajas, Llama, Miracosta, Paccha, Pion, Querocoto, San Juan de Licupis, Tacabamba and Tocmoche. The whole province of Chota has 183,627 inhabitants according to the 1995 census.

There are two routes for getting into Chota by public transportation service: one is from Cajamarca, capital of the Department of Cajamarca (148 kilometers for a 8-hour drive); and the other is from Chiclayo, capital of the Department of Lambayeque (219 kilometers for a 14-hour drive). The former route is operated by three companies, including Atahualpa, El Peregrino and Palacios. Six companies operate the latter route: Atahualpa, Burga Express, Empresas Unidas, Vargas, Munoz and Chota Express. There is no frequent public transportation service running between Cutervo and Chota, therefore, local people, that set up between these towns generally ride shared boxcar or truck to the crossroads town of Cochabamba at 1667 meters above sea level, which is branching off the route of Cutervo-Chiclayo and Chota-Chiclayo. Then, locals take another means of transportation, stopping at the junction of Cochabamba to their destination.

After spending the New Year celebration with the friendly family of Radio Ilucan, I hitched a ride on the back of an old freight truck from Cutervo to Chota in the afternoon on January 1, 1995. The truck took a route from Cutervo through Cochabamba and Lajas, to the final destination of Chota. The trip costs US$2.40 (5 nuevo soles). Loaded with cargo, luggage and other many passengers, it departed at 15:45 from Cutervo. After descending almost 1000 meters from Cutervo (a two-hour drive), the truck stopped to pick up more passengers at Cochabamba, and left a few passengers, who either stay there or possibly go to other neighboring villages. The truck climbed up on a one-lane dirt road of cutbacks and blind curves clinging to the edge of a mountainside. After driving for five hours, the road changed from an unpaved one to a paved one, before continuing up the Valley of the Chotano River to Chota. Finally at 20:50 in the night, the truck finished climbing more than 600 meters and reached the tranquil town of Chota. I took a basic room at Hotel Anaximando Vega near the Plaza de Armas, which charged US$3.90 (8 nuevos soles) per person for a simple room with a bath.

Having done a band scan to check over the existence and nature of any broadcasting activity, I confirmed that two local stations were in operation. One was the well-known broadcaster, Radio Chota transmitting on 1310 kHz on medium wave and 4890 kHz on shortwave simultaneously. Another was Radio Santa Monica, which was founded by the Bishop of Chota on July 1, 1993, being a part of the "Asociacion Religiosa Cultural Santa Monica". The station was on the air on 1360 kHz with a "Petrick" brand transmitter of 2 kW. While being in Chota, in January of 1995, I noted that there were no stations operating on FM.

However, according to the official list of the Ministry of Transports and Communications, issued in November of 2000, the number of licensed broadcasters in Chota was increased in recent years. There are now three on medium wave, two on shortwave, three on FM, and three television channels licensed to broadcast on their respective broadcasting bands.

Medium wave

1310.0 OBX2D Radio Chota, Chota; 1 kW SKED: 1130-0300 Transmitter site/Studio: Jiron Anaximandro Vega No. 690, La Ladrillla, Barrio San Cristobal, Chota, Provincia de Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru. Office: Jiron Gregorio Malca No. 560, Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru
1360.0 OCY2I Radio Santa Monica, Chota; 2 kW SKED: 1200-0100 (Sunday 1100-1800) Transmitter site: Terreno del Arzobispado de Chota, Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru. Studio: Jiron 30 de Agosto No. 641, Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru
1550.0 OCX2R Radio Television Chota, Chota; 1 kW Transmitter site: Colpamayo-Chinchin, Provincia de Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru. Studio: Jiron Micaela Bastias No. 352, Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru

FM

95.7 OAT2G Radio Santa Monica, Chota; 0.2 kW Transmitter site: Jiron 30 de Agosto No. 641, Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru. Studio: Jiron 30 de Agosto No. 641, Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru.
97.5 OCT2T Radio Panamericana FM, Chota; 0.1 kW Transmitter site: Cerro Cruz del Siglo, Sector Agaysbamba, Chota, Provincia de Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru.
98.1 OCT2U Radiomar FM, Chota; 0.1 kW Transmitter site: Cerro Cruz del Siglo, Sector Agaysbamba, Chota, Provincia de Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru.

Shortwave

3245.0 OAW2A Radio Television Chota, Chota; 1 kW Transmitter site: Colpamayo-Chinchin, Provincia de Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru. Studio: Jiron Micaela Bastias No. 352, Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru
4890.0 OAZ2B Radio Chota, Chota; 1 kW SKED: 1130-0300 Transmitter site/Studio: Jiron Anaximandro Vega No. 690, La Ladrillla, Barrio San Cristobal, Chota, Provincia de Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru. Studio: Jiron Gregorio Malca No. 560, Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru

Television repeaters and stations

Ch. 2 OCY2S Radio Television Chota, Chota; 0.5 kW Transmitter site: Jiron Anaximandro Vega No. 481, Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru.
Ch. 5 OBY2N RTP - Instituto Nacional de Radio y Television, Cutervo; 0.1 kW Transmitter site: Cerro Cashaloma, Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru.
Ch. 13 OCY2K Empresa Radiodifusora 1160 S.A., Chota; 0.1 kW Transmitter site: Jiron Anaximandro Vega No. 481, Chota, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru.

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