The important search terms are apparently “audiolibros” and “gratis”. Some people prefer “libros hablados” and “gratuitos”. 🙂 Other good search terms are “audioteca” and “fonoteca”. (I like that word “audioteca”. A “biblioteca” is a library, so an audioteca is an audio library.) Audio fiction is apparently “audiorelatos”, radio dramas/soaps are logically enough, “radionovelas”, and the verb “to download” is “descargar”. A lot of these search terms will also bring in Portuguese and Italian results, but there’s ways to get around that if it bugs you.
First, one that’s not designed for native Spanish speakers. Alba Learning : Provides both the text and an mp3 read by a native speaker. Tons of selections, mostly poetry and short stories. You might like to check out “The Mass of the Souls”, a folktale that’s an interesting Catholic take on the Vanishing Hitchhiker! And for some reason, there’s a lot of Lovecraft translations…. 🙂
Biblioteca Virtual Miguel Cervantes includes a fairly extensive Fonoteca. Unfortunately, it’s all streaming and Windows Media Player and a weird codec. Doh! OTOH, you can listen to a reading of the entirety of Tirant lo Blanc, and there’s all sorts of poetry. Also includes some music.
Leer Escuchando: Site similar to Librivox, in that it creates public domain audiobooks in its community. However, you have to register in order to download anything.
Librivox itself includes public domain audiobooks in any language anyone cares to record, so of course they have Spanish ones, too.
Mexico’s Fonoteca Nacional: A very pretty site dedicated to the preservation of Mexico’s sound heritage. Plays music when you log on, which in this case was nice. 🙂 Tons of Flash exhibits online. If you want to search and listen to their actual holdings, you want “Consulta el Acervo en Linea”. There’s tons on there, including “Radionovelas”.
Audiorelatos.net blogs and podcasts three kinds of audiodramas and free readings.
Talks in Spanish from the Fraternidad de Vida Nueva. Looks solid enough.
EWTN Audioteca: Audio archive of EWTN’s Spanish-language programming.
This article from 2008 claims that the market for audiobooks in Spanish-speaking countries is very underdeveloped, because people just aren’t used to listening to books. (Except blind people, that is.) So this probably explains why I haven’t seen much in this search.
I did find some pay audiobook sites. Bleh. And you really don’t want to know what they included as “Inspiracional”. *gagging noises* OTOH, one company was also selling a complete audiobook of Proust! Ambitious! You can also buy a few Spanish audiobooks on Audible and other English-language sites.
OTOH, there’s an obvious opportunity. A lot of people who don’t have time to read have mp3 players or phones that play mp3s — even fairly poor people. Spanish literature is fun to read. And given the vast variety of dialects of Spanish, it’s probably not even a disqualification to be a non-native speaker who speaks fairly slowly. There’s a stunning lack of Catholic audiobooks, I’ve got to say, and that’s a crock. When there’s more Deepak Chopra out there than St. Teresa de Avila, something is muy wrongo.
Oh, and if you really want to find a Catholic radio station’s website, here’s a nice long list from around the world. Some of them also include audiotecas, like this archdiocesan radio station from the Dominican Republic.