Last week we had our first meeting with the young participants from the three communities in Xela. Their ages range from 14 to 24 years and all have basic computer knowledge, mostly using word to do some of their homework at the libraries. Some of the participants have a little more experience in the use of internet and they will be supporting those who don’t. The school in San Carlos Sija, where two of the participants go to, is very pleased to have two of their students participating in this project, and have asked them that besides implementing the library’s blog, they do also a blog for the school, so that many students can get involved in the use of that technology to share information and generate dialogues.
We took the trip’s opportunity to deliver the internet connection equipment to Cabricán, where the workshops will be happening, and next week the equipment will be delivered to Huitán. An agreement was sign with the three municipalities in which they agree to finance half of the internet service during a year. The other half will be covered by Riecken thanks to a partnership with INHERIT. These libraries will offer the service free of charge, as one of Riecken’s core values is to promote free access to information, and a sustainability plan is being coordinated with the library’s local board to ensure its continuity.
The first workshop will take place the first week of June and will cover the use of Internet as a powerful tool to access and exchange information. They will have the rest of the month to practice what they learn and to experiment access to information through internet before they learn how to create and manage a blog, which will be taught on the next workshop the first week of July. In mid July Citizen’s Action will coordinate the workshops about “The Right to Access Public Information”.
Kara Andrade will be coordinating the workshops for Internet use and blogs. She has been selected for a three-year fellowship by Ashoka, the global association of the world's leading social entrepreneurs, to continue to grow Hablacentro.com – a mobile-based collaborative citizen journalism network in Central America: www.hablacentro.com . She has also taught blogging and online media at The Day Worker Center of Mountain View, California, in collaboration with the Midpeninsula Community Media Center.
We will keep you posted.