Sep 5, 2014

One Grateful Neighborhood Family Receives a PC

In Costa Rica, you'll find that large, tight-knit families are the norm especially in rural areas such as ours. Whole towns have been established consisting of brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles and cousins of varying degrees. They all look out for one another. For instance, if you ask your neighbor where to find such-and-such a service, it will usually turn out that the person they recommend is a relative, perhaps a 3rd cousin twice removed.

So far, in my efforts to bring PCs to local Ticos in need, I have taken advantage of these networks to find families who do not have a PC, need one for their kids' schoolwork and are unlikely to simply turnaround and sell it for much needed cash. This loose qualification process depends on my trust of a key family member and their personal knowledge of the donee's situation. That will likely have to change as we expand and restore a great deal more PCs for donation if we want to ensure the effort is effective but it's a winning approach so far!

Ligia, her two daughers and one grandaughter

In any case, the lady pictured above, Ligia, and her family were the most recent recipients of a refurbished computer, whom I found via a neighbor and personal contact.

They have two older girls in school and a granddaughter who lives a couple houses down who is in elementary school. They needed a computer for their schoolwork. I donated to them a PC I'd found in a recycling center, a keyboard, mouse and an old Dell CRT monitor that someone gave me. Even though I had tested the computer, an older Celeron based box, it failed to work at setup, so I had to bring another one, a P3-800 machine with 768K of memory. It runs a version of Debian Linux quite snappily.

They are really excited to have a full-blown computer in the house. They do not have Internet access for it, however, which is something I've been working on in the background and will probably discuss in another posting. The possibilities are DSL or 3G/4G USB modem.

I hope to have many more examples of how your generous donations are being put to work in the coming months. The large number of PCs coming from FL soon are still on track and others are contributing to that shipment with more PCs and parts. See the previous post on this blog for the address to which you can send your unused PC, monitors and any parts for that shipment, which is due to ship on Sept. 17th. [Ed., that fundraiser is over, but here is a new one!]

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