Radio KDNA goes on the air in the Yakima Valley in December 1979.

  • By Oscar Rosales Castaneda
  • Posted 11/24/2006
  • Essay 8014
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In December 1979, Radio KDNA, based in the Yakima Valley in Granger, Washington, goes on the air. Radio KDNA is the first radio station to dedicate its entire programming to the Spanish-speaking population of Eastern Washington. It is a non-commercial, education-oriented public radio station. Many listeners are farm workers in the valley, and the station describes itself as "La Voz del Campesino."

Programming for the Community

A few months after KDNA went on air, Mt. St. Helens erupted in May 1980. The station was instrumental in relaying emergency information from various responding agencies following the disaster, which coated areas of the Yakima Valley with two feet of ash.

As noted in the station's mission, "Radio KDNA will produce quality radio programming to help [Latino and other disadvantaged] communities overcome barriers of literacy, language, discrimination, poverty, and illness. In this way, KDNA will empower these communities to more fully participate in our multiethnic society" (Radio KDNA).

The educational programming that the station provides includes music, as well as information and other radio-based initiatives relating to health, education, culture, and labor rights. The station itself has also been a proponent of civil and labor rights of all people regardless of race, ethnicity or documented status, which has given the station wide acclaim nationally for the service it has provided through the years.

Broadcasting on a frequency of 91.9 FM with an effective radiated power of 20,000 watts, KDNA is owned by, and licensed to, the Northwest Communities Education Center, a not-for profit corporation. The station is governed by a minority Board of Directors representative of its listening community.

Sources: Oscar Rosales Castaneda, "Chicano/a Movement in Washington State History Project Timeline: Movimiento from 1960-1985," Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project website accessed November 17, 2006; Radio KDNA website accessed November 17, 2006, (

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