Monte Sinaí is a community in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with more than 100,000 people in a situation of vulnerability.
Monte Sinaí is a community in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with more than 100,000 people in a situation of vulnerability. One of the community's main problems is the lack of Internet access to study and work remotely. During the pandemic, many of the children did not have access to the Internet since their parents, unable to go to work, had no way to pay the monthly fee to connect to the Internet or even buy a data plan for their cell phones. The pandemic has shown in Latam and worldwide that we need to invest in connecting the unconnected to avoid leaving them behind.
The Internet works as a knowledge tool and empowers decisions, as an opportunity to grow as an individual, explore, learn about diversity, and expand the mind. In societies with higher Internet access rates, most cases have lower crime and inequality because they have more opportunities and tend to be happier and healthier.
Access to the Internet has been a fundamental right since 2012, and even so, almost 4 billion people around the world still do not have connectivity.
What we achieved in our first deployment:
In addition to being a vulnerable community, Mount Sinaí is a dangerous place where not just anyone can enter. For this reason, we allied with a foundation that has been working on-site for many years. The Kairós Foundation works in several vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities in Ecuador; they focus on creating safe spaces for children and women who suffer from domestic violence. The Foundation contacted us with women leaders from the community who protect the areas designed for the well-being of children. These women opened the doors of their houses to us to place the first ten antennas, they are not only helping us take care of the equipment, but they have also become ambassadors. They help us educate their neighbors on how to use the network. For their initiative, they are helping to expand coverage by evangelizing Wayru in neighboring communities.
We have called them "The Guardians of the Network."
We installed ten free WiFi zones—the ability to connect more than 2,000 people simultaneously. The network is also benefiting two schools without connectivity.
Each antenna has a range of 150m (500 ft) at 360 degrees, covering large areas benefitting dozens of homes per WiFi zone.
We want to connect 15,000 people in this community and repeat this model in communities with similar needs.