She began her career as a journalist for the Miami Herald and also spent time working for The Village Voice. She first began working in radio while in New York. She moved to Los Angeles in 1993 from New York City, where she was a reporter for WNYC.
del Barco spent the year of 1999-2000 living and working in her native Peru on a Fulbright and ICTJ grants. While there she worked on a documentary project about the rise and fall of Fujimori as well as gathering the stories of those internally displaced during Peru's bloody civil war.
Del Barco has had tremendous influence on many up and coming journalists. She has been a student mentor on all of the NAHJ (National Association of Hispanic Journalists) and Unity student projects as well as mentoring several up and coming journalists outside this venue. This has prompted some of her protegeés to claim that they are alumni of the del Barco School for Young Journalists.