Thursday, June 11, 2009


This radio show started in 1989 on CKUT, the campus-community station broadcasting from the McGill University campus. It has become an important bridge between the Latin American community and other sectors of the Canadian society, especially in the multicultural region of Montreal.
Past and present members of the Latin Time
team during the 20th anniversary celebration
The 20th anniversary of Latin Time was celebrated this May with an artistic show that featured the improvisational theatre of Anabelle Segovia and Dalina Hernández (theatre Travesías) with music played by Sergio Abel Méndez; singer Ana Silvia García along with Enrique Saldívar (guitar) and Aníbal Uñishawa (percussion) sang traditional Peruvian music; and the Arco Iris dance group performed colourful typical Chilean dances.

In a brief speech, the show producer highlighted the significance of doing a radio show mostly in Spanish and devoted to promoting the Latin American culture, informing about current events in those countries, but without neglecting to inform about the Canadian, Quebec, and Montreal realities, since as an immigrant community, Latin Americans are part of the Canadian society as well. “We are from here and from there”, the spokesman from the show said, emphasizing the multiple identities that a person may have which far from being exclusive, are truly complementary.

The show started in 1989, its founders being Maria Elena Concha, Rommel Cajavilca, and Sergio Martinez. Latin Time went from being a 30-minute show to the current 90- minute-long varied selection of news, cultural, political and sports commentaries, community announcements, and certainly, a showcase for some of the best Latin American and Spanish music.

Throughout the past 20 years, Latin Time has also covered some important international events. In 1990, Maria Elena Concha went to Nicaragua as a special envoy to cover the elections that ended the so-called contra war; in the mid-1990s three members of Latin Time, Rommel Cajavilca, Rufo Valencia, and Camila Torrejón attended an international gathering of community radio stations in Senegal; in 2001, Sergio Martinez covered the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City; and for his part, Jorge Gutman regularly attends, on his own time, the Cannes and Toronto film festivals, which he also covers for the show.

Throughout the years, the Latin Time team has seen many changes and welcomed new members. In addition to both founders still on the team (Rommel Cajavilca at the console, in charge of the music selection and special features from time to time with the collaboration of the Casa de la Cultura del Perú in Montreal; and Sergio Martinez, producer, news writer and editor, and political commentator), Latin Time presently has the following contributors: Jorge Gutman (cinema and other entertainment), Paul Obando (sports), Eduardo Pollak (co-host and occasionally news writer), and the most recent members, Lysane Senecal Mastropaolo (co-host and chronicle writer on Quebec), and Maria-Isabelle Noël (co-host).
Lysane Senecal Mastropaolo (right) and Maria-Isabelle Noël (left)

Latin Time also had a number of other contributors some of whom had a long association with the show: Rufo Valencia, who brought his experience in communications, Sauline Letendre who made a significant contribution hosting the show and occasionally gathering the news. Others were with Latin Time for a shorter period of time, but their contribution was also important: Juan Bustamante (technical support), Gloria Ilabaca (hosting), Roxane Marin (hosting), Sampio Rodriguez (general assistance), Maribel Oyarzun (hosting), Andrea and Nilda Morales (hosting a youth section), Ricardo Olea (news gathering), Camila Torrejon (hosting and writing), Iris Arcia (hosting), Guadalupe Phillips (hosting), Joele and Milene Kulkujan (hosting a child section), Adolfo Ramirez (hosting), Susana Garcia (hosting), Andrea Ochoa (hosting a Latin rock section), Alejandra Cifuentes (hosting a classical music section), Mauricio Correa (hosting) and Silvia Vidal (general assistance).

Besides the radio show Latin Time, the Latin American Communications Workshop has developed a number of other initiatives in the fields of communications and culture. The current website, La Plaza, is one of them, together with the publication of books through its editorial division Cactus Books, cultural presentations such as film exhibitions, theatre and music shows, poetry and literary readings, and for some time the publication of Nexo, a bulletin devoted to learners of the Spanish language, edited by René Silva, another contributor to the Latin American Communications Workshop.For all of this, the 20th anniversary of Latin Time and the Latin American Communications Workshop is an important milestone that highlights the efforts to connect the Latin American and Spanish-speaking communities in Montreal, Quebec, and Canada with other communities living in this country.
Eduardo Pollak , Latin Time host (left) and Sergio Martinez, producer of Latin Time (right)

Teatro Travesías, Peruvian singer Ana Silvia García, and folkloric group Arco Iris, during the 20th anniversary celebration of Latin Time at the Centre d'Archives de Montréal this past May