Radiotherapy was the first nonsurgical treatment for malignant tumours and represents one of the oldest disciplines of oncology. In Latin America, as in many parts of the world, the history of modern oncology begins with the implementation of radiation therapy facilities. The development of radiotherapy in Latin America was possible thanks to the seminal work of radiation oncologists in different countries. As a large territory, there is a need to implement modern facilities and equipment, but unfortunately there are disparities in the access and quality of radiotherapy services across Latin America and even within individual countries. In this review, we describe the history, challenges and success in the implementation of radiotherapy and the frustration caused by the lack of facilities in several Latin American countries.