Literacy and Tech Skills in Honduran Libraries
Alejandra Bonilla and Dayana Stockdale
Summer 2008 saw two great GIIP interns work with the Riecken Foundation in Honduras, continuing our long standing partnership with this organization.
GIIPer Dayana Stockdale worked in Riecken’s office in Tegucigalpa, Honduras’ capital, to develop a portal with online resources for their network of 61 libraries. Library users, employees, volunteers, and youth can now go online to learn about news and events, projects from the teen program (Zona X), photos, forums, and video tutorials for using computers and the internet. It was a big and challenging project and Dayana really had to get proactive to get it done.
“When I got to Honduras, the foundation did not have a clear idea of they wanted,” she says. “I did not receive access to a server until a week before I had to leave!” To keep things moving Dayana interviewed people from every part of the organization, and even traveled to rural communities to understand exactly the sort of website Riecken needed. She also held html/css workshops, helped train the board of directors, and took charge of training two employees to maintain the site and manage updates. Her hard work has paid off and Riecken will be able to use the site she made for years to come. Dayana is excited to see more GIIP interns go and train members of the Riecken community.
Meanwhile, Alejandra Bonilla, a native of Honduras, was busy training members of the Riecken network, helping them gain and improve their tech skills. She worked with an incredible range of people, from kids and teenagers to librarians and the board of directors. She even held English and web design workshops for a group of students at a local adult school.
Beyond training, Alejandra built a website for one of Riecken’s local libraries. GIIP’s training proved essential to her internship not only for the information technology skills she learned, but also for the experience and insights it gave her about community organizing. With her hard work, Riecken members gained essential computer and internet skills to further participate and benefit from the technological revolution.
Thanks to our amazing fellows, the GIIP-Riecken partnership is still going strong. For more about the Riecken Foundation, visit http://www.riecken.org