Our first workshop took place last week with the attendance of 20 young members from the three communities in Xela. During the first day we covered subjects about internet history, browsers, engine searches and email services. At the end of the day all of the participants had created their email accounts, since the majority did not have one, and begun to exchange messages among themselves. They are very excited about this new opportunity of communication, like Amalia Juventina, a 14 years old girl from Huitán, who was very eager to learn how to send emails and attach pictures, so that she can communicate with his father who has migrated to the United States to work and send money to his family. They also had the chance to experiment more with engine searches, such as Google, and one of the activities they engaged on was searching about their major community problems and possible ways to help solving them.
After having a couple of group activities, the first thing they did on the second day of the workshop was to check their emails, and a chain of messages started. On that day we covered social networks and very important advices on safe ways to use the internet and interact through it. All of the participants created their personal facebook profiles and included their picture, taken at that same moment. The library in Cabricán now has its own facebook page, check it out http://www.facebook.com/BibliotecaNuevoAmanecer . Silvia and Roman, who had already created a facebook page for their libraries in Huitán and San Carlos Sija , were very helpful sharing how they manage and update it.
We had the honor of having Eddie Avila, Rising Voices Director, with us during the workshops and he also contributed in some subjects.
Some of our challenges are internet connections, which can be slow and expensive since it is only available through modems; and limited number of computers, especially in Huitán where they only have three. Nevertheless, efforts are being made to gain support from the public and private sectors to have a better internet service and more computers in the libraries.
The next workshop will be about blogging and will take place the first week of July.