HCJB, La Voz de los Andes: Evangelical Fundamentalism and the Forging of Modern Indigenous Subjects through Radio Waves in Ecuador


This paper analyzes the discourses and literature employed by HCJB La Voz de los Andes, a pioneer missionary American evangelical radio station, that facilitated the Ecuadorian indigenous people’s conversion from Catholicism to Evangelicalism. Founded in 1931 by Clarance Jones, Moody Bible Institute alum, HCJB brought the gospel to global audiences. Before HCJB’s Quechua program, the first broadcasting in an indigenous language, Americans pursued unsuccessfully religious change for more than fifty years. HCJB translated bible passages, missionary accounts, and sermons, reaching indigenous people in their language. This happened along with a land reform, which ended semi-slave labor. More than fostering religious adherence, HCJB pursued modernist values, propelling indigenismo—a movement characterized by paternalism and modernization. Rather than uncritical followers, indigenous people reframed evangelical modernist teachings. Self-empowerment, moral piousness, and rational religiosity counteracted communitarianism, superstition, alcoholism, and promiscuity—conducts promoted by evangelicals as progress deterrents. Overall, this article analyzes HCJB literary material to highlight evangelical modernity projections for indigenous people and how indigenous people adapted them to maneuver land reform. This analysis contributes to understanding the rise of new indigenous subjects, characterized by territorial rootedness and spiritual delinking.


Diego Cortes
Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon, Oregon, United States


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Religious Foundations


Missionaries, American Fundamentalist, Indigenous People, Ecuador, Radio, Hcjb

Digital Media

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