We are not giving up!
Johnny De La Vega changing the operating system and programs to Spanish. Laptops are being donated by John Richardson and the students of St. Joseph Academy in Baton Rouge, LA.
Preparations for our Digital Literacy and Robotics Programs are Finally Underway!
While we planned to have our digital literacy classes and robotics program up and running in July at Escuela Carlos Bravo, months of civil unrest and a high risk travel alert (#3) slowed the project down. Schools were closed for several weeks and all our donors had to cancel their trips to Nicaragua because of the inability to get travel insurance underwritten.
With hundreds of thousands of people out of work, the country is facing an economic challenge. Many people have left to find work in other countries. The situation has underscored the need for students and adults to develop the digital literacy skills needed to take advantage of global virtual workplace opportunities - and the importance of developing solutions that provide technology access to all.
With the generous support of John Richardson of St. Joseph Academy in Baton Rouge and Jack Cooley, of CommunityBots in NYC, we now have a critical mass of laptops ready to start the 120 hour program at Carlos Bravo. Given the travel situation, we had to hand carry groups of 10 laptops into the country and then navigate the sometimes frustrating intricacies of customs to get them released as educational donations.
We are in the process of upgrading the electricity and installing internet, buying furniture to support a lab (and eventually robotics classes for girls) and enrolling students. We can always use help - FEEL FREE TO DONATE a dinner or a Starbucks coffee - it will be greatly appreciated by the school directors and the students.
Customs lock-up at the Managua airport - which was actually well-organized and very secure. We staged several rescue missions. Can you spot our suitcases full of computers in here?
This Toledo scale is used to weigh cargo coming in and out of customs to double check the contents.
Computers had to be tested after arriving from Baton Rouge to ensure there was not shipping damage and drained of their charge before packing in suitcases for the long trip to Managua.
This photo from earlier this year shows why is was so difficult for students to get to school during the beginning of the crisis and what challenges we were facing in starting to implement the program.