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Meeting with William Torrico Hurtado, Minga Digital
by Director de Porvenir
Village Power 2000 Team Bolivia Porvenir
source: Escuela Porvenir

William Torrico Hurtado, General Coordinator, Minga Digital
Photo: Allan Baer
Santa Cruz, Bolivia •• Sept. 29, 2000 •• SolarQuest® iNet News Service •• On their first day in Santa Cruz, through a strange series of coincidences, Ron Swenson and Allan Baer were made aware of an inititiative of the Santa Cruz Rotary Clubs to facilitate and fund internet connections for educational institutions. An appointment was made with William Torrico Hurtado, who is General Coordinator of Rotary's deveopment programs, and the visionary behind Minga Digital, an initiative to provide the nation's schools with computer technology and internet access.

The main objective of the Rotary program is to contribute to the nation's development by providing computers and an internet connection so that all public school children can access the wealth of digital information to gain access to jobs, improve their standard of living and "acquire a cultural necessary to overcome challenging problems ... in the future." Of the 1,800 schools in the rural areas of the Department (state) of Santa Cruz, only 40% have telephone service, and 60% have electricity.

The potential role of Porvenir was discussed as a rural model for the Minga Digital program. This will provide the opportunity to create support for a secondary education program in the Porvenir School. Mr. Torrico embraced this model enthusiastically, and extended an invitation to the official launch of the Mingus Digital initiative at EXPOCRUZ 2000 that very evening!

That afternoon, a serendipitous meeting occurred when Mr. Torrico noticed, crossing the street in this city of 1 million people, Alim Beveridge, Program Coordinator for Universidad Nur's Cisco Networking Academy and Technology Director of Minga Digital, and his wife, Gabriela Eguino, Coordinator of Nur's Youth Leadership program for Community Service. Gabriela is working with the ten city schools which are participating in Minga Digital's pilot project.

In turn, Alim arranged for a tour of the university and Gabriela extended an invitation to the Youth Leadership program's second annual celebration that will be happening tomorrow. Stay tuned....

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