4.2.1 Best practice

In Mexico, there is a community called La Mixtequita, composed of Mixtec Indigenous people who were relocated there. A community access center was installed there in a school. Unfortunately, the center saw no use, because the director of the school was afraid that the computers would break down.

Encouraged by a promoter, representatives of the community gathered in the school to discuss the access center. The community members included farmers, a representative from the stockbreeders association, a group of women, youth from the public high school, children, the principal of the primary school, and the school committee, among others.

At the beginning of the discussion, the director pointed out why she had not allowed the use of the access center: “We are too few to manage the center, the equipment is very expensive and there is no one who knows how to operate it, so we are afraid that they will break it and there is no computer teacher.”

The others agreed with the director, but they also noted that in the community they had a high school in technology, which actually taught computer sciences. The only problem was that the high school did not have access to the Internet. Thus, the community decided to appoint a committee, composed of the members of the committee of the school, the high school students and representatives of other groups who would be in charge of labours at the digital center. Immediately after they were appointed, they started their training and the center started to run.

In this example, the installation of the center happened without even having a committee to run it. The connectivity had been installed in the school, when maybe another place would have been better suited for it.

As mentioned at the beginning, all the steps in the process must always be taken. Otherwise, at some point the project will have to go back to them. If la Mixtequita had had a planning process in which the community appointed the committee and determined the best place for the location of the access center, they might have avoided keeping the center closed for a year.