Before reading this list, you should probably ask yourself a couple of questions. For example, do you know what a podcast is? If not, no need to worry. It’s still a fairly new concept with a broad definition. We would, however, recommend reading this brief introduction. Next question: do you know how to listen to a podcast? Again, there are a lot of answers, but overall, it’s easier than you think. In any case, here’s another helpful guide to the process. Lastly, if you do happen to listen to podcasts, then the only remaining question is, do you listen to these podcasts? Below, you will find a list of shows produced by your fellow Boricuas, including an interview series with Puerto Rican creatives, an introduction to the millennial diaspora, comedy, music, and more.
First on the list is a show called Notes from a Native Daughter, which is produced by the multi-talented Soldanela Rivera, daughter of la voz nacional de Puerto Rico, Danny Rivera. The title is an allusion to a book by James Baldwin, and features interviews with individuals across a wide spectrum of creative fields. It is described as a “conversation from the Pan-American experience on arts, culture, and society.” Past guests have included Bobby Sanabria, Manny Vega, Ivonne Coll, and Caridad de la Luz, among many others. In addition, there are several episodes that break with this format, such as a letter to former president Barack Obama and an audio postcard of the Women’s March held in Washington D.C. last January. Her most recent episode is an episode with Luis Fernando Coss, which you can listen to here.
In the political podcast In The Thick, Julio Ricardo Varela, along with co-host Maria Hinojosa, leads important conversations on race, identity, and politics, with journalists of color. Moreover, each episode aims to go beyond the limited scope of mainstream media and provide a broader perspective when it comes to political discourse. That includes several episodes dedicated to Puerto Rico. In addition to hosting duties for In The Thick, Julio can be heard on Latino USA, NPR’s only national Latino news and cultural weekly radio program. Julio is also the founder of Latino Rebels, which also produces a weekly podcast. To listen to the most recent episode of In The Thick, click here.
Empresarios is a show where Puerto Rican entrepreneurs and business people share the experience and knowledge with host Pablo Tirado. The podcast is produced by Startups of Puerto Rico, an initiative founded in 2014 that seeks to “empower Puerto Rico’s brightest digital designers, engineers and entrepreneurs.” The show is currently in its second season, with more than 80 episodes available for download. To listen, click here.
Vidas en arte y movimiento is a bilingual podcast "for people who enjoy conversations about life, the arts, movement and a variety of different themes." The show is hosted by Monica Morales, who had been based in Puerto Rico priot to Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Now living stateside, Morales has produced several episodes on the aftermath of Maria, as well as the recovery effort currently underway on the island. To listen to the most recent episode, click here.
Radio Universidad de Puerto Rico has made a number of its programs available for download as podcasts. That includes Voz y cultura, Los5sentidos, La vía pública, Investigando y rebuscando, Hoy en las noticias, Hilando fino desde las ciencias sociales, Hasta las piedras hablan, Arquitectura hoy, Agenda de hoy, and 1,2,3 Probando. Check out descriptions of each show here.
Mas+ has launched several podcasts in the past year or so. They include El Contragolpe, a show about boxing; Quemando La Malla, which focuses on basketball; and Raitrú, a show for fans of música urbana. You can listen to each podcast by visiting the Mas+ Puerto Rico website.
Next, we have Un Jíbaro en USA, which is a Spanish-language podcast hosted by two friends, Juanky Garcia and Roberto ‘Bobby’ Rosa. The show was previously featured in Centro Voices (to read that interview, click here). Now in its second season, Un Jíbaro en USA is an interview series with members of la diaspora 2.0, which is to say new arrivals to the mainland. Guests typically share their experiences, everything from funny anecdotes to helpful advice. After a three-month hiatus, the show appears to be back. Listen to the latest episode here.
The Jordan Journal is hosted by Howard Jordan, a community activist and professor at Hostos Community College, among many other titles. The show is described, in Jordan's words, as "a general interest program hosted by a Latino activist." However, Puerto Rico is a frequent topic of the program and its guests. The Jordan Journal airs every Friday from 3pm-5pm on WBAI-99.5FM in New York City. Each episode is also archived by the station and available for download as a podcast. For a list of past guests and more information about the show, click here.
Some other podcasts you can check out are Isla Doncella: Puerto Rico en crónicas, a biweekly show hosted by journalist Carlos Weber; Chente Ydrach’s also hosts his popular comedy podcast; El 86 is a podcast produced by Héctor Rosa that features interviews with chefs, restaurateurs, and mixologists from Puerto Rico; Desde las gradas, a Puerto Rican sports podcast; Puerto Rico Today focuses on current events on the island; and Muévete en Bici, a podcast on cycling. Honorable mention goes to Luis Trelles, a producer for Radio Ambulante. Trelles has produced some of the best podcasts featuring stories from Latin America, including an episode on the origins of the Puerto Rican debt crisis and the unbelievable story of Ernesto Gomez.
Lastly, if you do listen, don’t forget to subscribe to your favorite shows! (and while you’re at it, giving them a good rating wouldn’t hurt either). Happy listening!