or How I Scored Internet Service in Panajachel
02 February 1999
In Panajachel, a small town on the shores of Lago de Atitlán, near Concepcion, about seven new internet cafés have opened up in the last month, specializing not only in internet connections, but in various types of Guatemalan coffee, which, incidentally, is delicioso! While you sip your coffee, you can sit in front of a computer and browse the World Wide Web at your leisure. You might not want to be TOO leisurely about it, since you will be charged for the time you spend online. The prices for access to the World Wide Web range from 12 quetzals to 45 quetzals/hour (1 dollar=~7 quetzals). Mayanet, the cafe I visited, charged 25 quetzals por hora.
Now, lots of people visit the cafe to check their e-mail. Others come to make phone calls or send and receive faxes. Realizing that it might be pricey for me to use hours and hours of Internet time to answer your mail and send in dispatches, I brokered a trade: I would develop Mayanet's web page, and Carlos would give me free Internet access. We had a deal! I even used our digital camera to take pictures of the outside of the store--you can see Abeja in the middle picture on the homepage.
All this goes to show you that it's important to develop your mind, and learn new skills and tools. Not everything in the future will revolve around goods or products that are made or manufactured--you know, things that you can actually see and touch. I think the future will revolve around information. You are, after all, the Net generation, and you and your classmates are the most wired and most connected people in the history of the planet!
So, why don't you check out the Mayanet website, and maybe sign their guest book? Carlos would appreciate it! As for me, I will look to see if I can score some more Internet connections as we travel to Peru. Wish me luck!
Jamila - A funny thing happened on the way back from Coba
Klaus - Trekking the road to ruin
Abeja - History, Chaos and Change in Guatemala City
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