In Colombia's rural areas, Internet access is still rare. If it exists, it can dramatically change the lives of even coffee growers living in remote areas.
Jose Diario Camacho Ortiz, a coffee grower, lives in Meta, a rural department south of the capital with little formal infrastructure. Thanks to a project started by the NGO Maikaia and its partners that brings Internet to rural homes, his life has fundamentally changed.
"Before we had an Internet connection at our place, my children had to sometimes travel an hour by motorbike to the nearest village if they wanted to go online. Then this project brought an Internet connection to our coffee farm via “white space” technology, which uses parts of the radio spectrum that are no longer needed for TV broadcasting. That has changed my life dramatically. I'm now able to check things on the Internet whenever I have doubts about something. For example, if there is a problem with the coffee plants, a disease or something similar, I check Google to see if there is a non-toxic remedy. Sometimes in my free time, I watch videos on YouTube. I live here with just my wife and our four children, the rest of the family lives far away. In the past, we didn't communicate much. That has changed. Every day, we send each other messages via WhatsApp."
The #speakup barometer is a DW Akademie project that examines the connection between digital participation, freedom of expression and access to information. Learn more at www.dw.com/barometer