BUILD via Crowdrise
March 10, 2011
Building Understanding through International Learning and Development (BUILD) is a student-led initiative of the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University. BUILD partners with rural communities in the developing world to research and implement initiatives for human, social, and economic development.
BUILD: Guatemala partnered with the community of Santa Anita La Unión, located in the Boca Costa region of Guatemala, to construct the Rodrigo Asturias Computer Center in the summer of 2009, and our group’s initial trip revealed the community’s lack of access to technology and a communal desire to develop computer skills and increase communication with the outside world. The community also expressed their concerns about a lack of opportunity for the youth of Santa Anita; many leave the community either in pursuit of employment opportunities or to join gangs. Although the original vision for the center was clear, political divisions along with faulty machinery and poor internet quality have been incredibly detrimental to the success of the center. BUILD is in the process of funding necessary improvements to the center, which involve the purchase of at least two new desktop computers as well as a main server computer, installation of DSL, salaries for at least two youth managers and an administrator, and close work with a local computer technician. BUILD hopes that these improvements combined with an enhanced effort to unify the youth of Santa Anita will allow the center to serve its original purpose as a valuable resource and a point of pride for all residents.