By Eva Artschwager of El Valle Community Center and Villanueva David Cargo Library
Thanks to the efforts of the Texas based Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC), the Santa Fe non-profit Community Learning Network, and the coordination provided through the Department of Information Technology Broadband Program, the village of Pecos now has its first free public access WiFi. The “hotspot”, which was installed by ITDRC in the small park adjacent to the village offices on Main Street, provides free Internet WiFi signal throughout the playground park area and adjacent parking lot. The WiFi signal should be available 24/7 and can be used by visitors seeking information about local activities, services, and accommodations, as well as by people in the community, such as students needing to complete assignments online or residents needing to file electronic forms, access medical advice, or submit employment applications.
The installation of the wifi access point in Pecos is part of a larger initiative to provide wifi access across northern New Mexico to schools, government entities, and other public facilities that lack easy and affordable access to a high speed internet (i.e. broadband) connection. Broadband has become a critical service, especially at this time when more and more of our professional, personal and learning interactions require access to a reliable internet connection. Increasing wifi access points helps close the digital divide, which has left large swaths of rural New Mexico residents without an internet connection in their homes and has placed unconnected students at increasingly high risk of falling further and further behind along the educational spectrum. In recognizing and addressing this need, the wifi hotspot installation program has made a measurable difference for rural, remote, and other communities struggling on the wrong side of the digital divide.
The hotspots provided in the village of Pecos were made possible with the support of Pecos mayor Ted Benavides and County Commissioner Janice Varela. For a map of all broadband service in the state, consult the New Mexico Department of Information Technology broadband program website.
Chief Arvol Lookinghorse was scheduled to speak in Dulce, New Mexico, on Earth Day in April, 2020. However, his visit was postponed due to COVID-19. Today, he has sent a request and reminder to all in honor of World Peace and Prayer Day.
Source: National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Written By Cathy Cash
"For Monet Winters, the COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of hurdles for her to complete eighth grade at Santa Fe Indian School. With school buildings closed in March and no reliable internet service at her home on the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, Monet waited for large paper packets of schoolwork from her teachers to arrive by mail. The 13-year-old tried to log on with her mother’s phone or Wi-Fi at her grandmother’s house but was hampered by spotty service, distractions and data limits. “It was pretty challenging,” said Monet. 'I wasn’t able to do my schoolwork online. I was struggling.' " Read the full story HERE.
You just never know what is possible...until the 18-wheeler shows up! Grateful to be spreading goodness with Pat McCabe this week and honored to volunteer to help! Thanks to Intuitive Foundation for donating more than 100,000 face shields this week to support Native communities and community members heavily impacted by COVID-19. Special thanks to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for receiving the first shipment of donated PPE and thanks to LANL Foundation for making the connect. Learn more about grassroots regional commUNITYrelief efforts at www.communitylearningnetwork.org
CommUNITY Learning Network is a grassroots New Mexico-born and locally based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to building stronger communities through real-life learning.