Financial Support for Centro Alternativo Rural
El Limón –CAREL
main aim of the project was to create the Rural Center of Information
Technology (CRTI) with computer equipment to produce educational materials
such as CD-ROMs and other audiovisual materials in order to disseminate
sustainable farming and ranching practices as well as the use of
information technology (IT) for other community development projects. Once
in operation, the Center would be able to provide:
Organization of basic computer training courses (Ex: use of Windows, the
Internet and so on), open to the community at large.
Specific capacity building courses in IT for the production of
computerized educational materials for 20 teenagers in El Limón.
IT training courses for 100 people in 15 other communities, using the
original 20 teenagers from El Limón as multipliers. This would not only
involve basic courses in the use of computers for communities or villages
in the region, but also specialization in producing products and services
(propaganda materials, call cards, typing out texts and tables, the use of
digital imaging technology).
key factor that would make the El Limón project unique – and so,
different from the “classic” rural development projects – was the
result of IAF having consulted with Cornell University at Ithaca, New York
(conducted by the Dominican Republic LLAS) as to the possible interest of
any sector of the university to co-participate in a project to help El Limón.
The Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy (CRESP) at Cornell
University, that already had prior experience in similar work and making
use of its EcoPartners project, sent one of its volunteer professors,
engineer John Katz, to El Limón for a preliminary evaluation.
the evaluation was concluded, Katz was able to conceive of a plan
involving two parallel lines of action, both focused on technological
issues. The first would be the generation and distribution of electric
power and the second, the dissemination of knowledge using computerized
media through a to-be-created Computer Center.