Technology in Guatemala: An Overview

A resident perches at Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua, Guatemala. i i

hide captionA resident perches at Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua, Guatemala.

Xeni Jardin, NPR
A resident perches at Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua, Guatemala.

A resident perches at Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua, Guatemala.

Xeni Jardin, NPR

Unearthing the Future

Xeni Jardin and Gustavo Cosme of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala i i

hide captionXeni Jardin stands with Gustavo Cosme of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala, inside a room where they store boxes of human remains of death squad victims, prior to reburial.

Xeni Jardin, NPR
Xeni Jardin and Gustavo Cosme of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala

Xeni Jardin stands with Gustavo Cosme of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala, inside a room where they store boxes of human remains of death squad victims, prior to reburial.

Xeni Jardin, NPR

In her series "Guatemala: Unearthing the Future" this past week, tech contributor Xeni Jardin examined how Guatemalans are using technology to deal with historic challenges. Her reports revealed the potential and the realities of harnessing technology in a country where many people are living in extreme poverty.

Despite the fact that there are villages in Guatemala where people lack basic amenities, technology makes unexpected appearances. In villages where there are no land-line phones, for example, you see more and more people carrying and sharing cell phones.

A few years ago, no one had heard of the Internet. But now, Mayan priests travel on busses loaded with livestock so they can get to towns where they can check their e-mail.

"Technology" in this context can also mean tools more basic than computers and software. The group Xela Teco, featured in one of the "Unearthing the Future" reports, is working on eco-engineering that employs designs from simple machines of the 19th century.

It's not as if Guatemala is becoming a wired country, where broadband is available in every house. But even the small inroads that technology has made there can open up a broader world for the whole community.

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