Most of us would agree that a screen time Sabbath, a weekend away to unplug, or a social media sabbatical are all good for the soul. However, when we aren’t going offline on our own terms and we experience an unexpected loss of connection, our smart phones are glitching, or our download speed isn’t meeting our expectations, it can be downright frustrating. I know it may be hard to imagine in 2019, but until this past week, Pacoche, Ecuador, has been without Internet.
Thanks to a generous donation from Vision Partners, working in partnership with Cambiarte, the community was able to install Internet and provide all homes with the opportunity to connect for a small monthly fee. As you can imagine, there is excitement in the air, as this development will not only add convenience to daily living, but it will also open the door to many opportunities. Graciela shared that almost two decades ago she started writing prayers in her prayer journal for Internet to be available in Pacoche! What a great reminder that faithful prayers are answered in God’s timing!
Pacoche is home to several students who travel more than 30 minutes into the nearest large city to attend university classes, as well as to study in WiFi accessible locations. Having access to Internet in their homes is a tremendous convenience and blessing to these students.
As we all know, the Internet makes marketing a product, learning a new skill, and accessing educational materials a possibility. For a small group of young men who have recently started a carpentry business, creating a Facebook page for advertisement purposes could be a huge breakthrough in their sales potential. They have recently created custom doors for several clients, and they delivered high-quality craftsmanship. Getting the word out with an online presence will surely get some more people knocking on their door with more orders!
Through Cambiarte, our hope is to continue sharing the needs of individuals and communities in Ecuador where we have deep, lasting relationships. Because we have board members who live in these communities and communicate with the people on a daily basis, we have the unique advantage of being able to witness first hand both the needs of the people as well as the impact of your prayers and financial support. We share joy with Pacoche in this praise report and look forward to reporting more in the future about how Internet access increases opportunities in their village.
For the techies reading, here is an explanation of how the Internet was installed in Pacoche. Rivera Networks explains the technique well, “Simply put, Line of Sight internet provides an over-the-air internet connection to buildings that have a clear line of sight to a dedicated mast. This means no underground cables, quicker installation times and lower latency.”
So, in Pacoche a dedicated mast was put up on a high point. This mast receives the Internet signal from a master antenna in another town. Then smaller antennas were installed at different locations around Pacoche. These antennas receive the Internet signal from the mast. Then a multi-port hub was connected to the antennas. Then a cable is run from these hubs to a Wi-Fi router in the houses that want the service.