Radio Pulso del Barrio

Appeared on San Diego City Times

Nothing nourishes the drained body like a breakfast burrito after one of those nights of far too many beers and shots when “just going out for a beer” goes adrift. That greasy load of carbs and fat brings anyone back to life after a night of flushing down feelings and dignity down the bar’s bathroom. It’s simple comfort and warmth. It’s plain indulgence.

So what’s better than eating a breakfast burrito during a morning like that? Nothing really, but tuning in every morning to listen to Breakfast Burrito Club gets pretty close. Breakfast Burrito Club is a radio show hosted by three charismatic Barrio Logan personalities, Bob Green and Ana Brown both main members of the Roots Factory art collective and Teresa Montero a.k.a La Bucky, president of this community-based radio project. This trio starts off every weekday morning from 9ish to 11:00am with plain laughter, charisma and whatever their soul dictates. The Breakfast Burrito Club is the energy that drives Radio Pulso del Barrio.

photo by Richard Lomibao

photo by Richard Lomibao

Radio Pulso del Barrio is a bilingual radio station centered on culture, arts and education that is powered by the greater Logan Heights community. It exists to give voice to the residents of the Barrio. Its establishment is due to the San Diego Museum of Art’s Open Spaces project and the James Irvine Foundation who received the opportunity to organize a self-sustaining public art piece that would enhance and empower the community. Bucky, now coordinating the project explains how she got involved by attending the community forums that Open Spaces held to receive input from residents. She admits that when the grant writer first approached the community art galleries to propose the project there was hesitation from the residents because no one really wanted the museum to be involved in the space they had created alone. However, that hesitance soon decimated when representatives from these art galleries were called to become the main voices of the project.It was a period of about six months until the proposals were narrowed down to three. Among these proposals was the idea to create a marketplace; another one was an installation dedicated to Cesar Chavez, and third was the community radio. After a voting process within the committee, Radio Pulso del Barrio came to be.

The grant funded the equipment and space at Bread & Salt. At that point the museum handed down the project to the community, appointed a board and Bucky was voted president. Bucky soon called Roots Factory on board with the project because as one of the oldest art collectives in Barrio Logan they were well-connected with local artists and musicians which offered the creative component the radio needed to get the ball rolling. No one on board at that moment had had previous radio experience they just went for it for the first time. Instantly, educators and local social justice organizations such as ARRE (Association of Raza Educators San Diego) and Border Angels visited the radio station, all that is in tuned with the mission statement just happened organically. “It’s not my project, it’s not Roots Factory’s project, it’s what the community wants,” Bucky asserts. It’s a self-sustainable project run by volunteers, interns, a Progam Committee and Board of Directors that follow the grassroots rhythm happening right now throughout Barrio Logan.

“It’s a self-sustainable project run by volunteers, interns, a Progam Committee and Board of Directors that follow the grassroots rhythm happening right now throughout Barrio Logan.

Radio Pulso del Barrio encompasses a wide array of topics, music and people. One particular show that is one of a kind is from a fellow City college student, Jessie Maria Gomez-Villeda that aired for the first time on February 21. Her show is titled “Mi Vida Loca,” a compilation of narratives told first hand by people who want to voice out a story, feeling or experience. It has such a raw, human component to it, unstructured and uncensored. It comes right after Breakfast Burrito Club without introduction or warning and instantly delves you into the speaker’s mind, feeling and anticipating what the narrator will say next.
Jesse Maria was inspired to create a platform for people to express themselves creatively and emotionally after taking a creative nonfiction writing class at City with Professor Nadia Mandilawi. “In one way or another like it all tied back to how these experiences have defined us as people, as students, as writers, so there was a lot of impactful moments in that class, so when it was over it really dawned on me, like wow, from everything I’ve written and poured my heart into to everything else others had poured their hearts into, like there is only a small pocket of time for those moments to be shared and that was in that class. And that inspiration ended with that class and then what happens?” Jesse Maria shares. This influenced her to make use of the radio as a medium to give those stories continuity and keep them alive.

Jesse Maria among other creatives have already in a few months established Radio Pulso del Barrio as truly a community radio from the people and for the people. Tune in daily online and immerse yourself in the Barrio culture.