Digital Tools for Youth in Rural Guanajuato Mexico


This past April, the local manager of the Community Knowledge Center (CKC) in Victoria on the campus of Universidad Tecnológica del Norte de Guanajuato, (UTNG) successfully implemented the Community Connectors youth technology, leadership and entrepreneurship training program at the center.  Hosting several workshops per week, the program has served over 60 local youth, equipping them with digital literacy skills essential to improving their studies, increasing their performance on school research projects and developing individual entrepreneurial projects with the University-led Center for Entrepreneurship. 

 Connectors have learned how to create presentations using PowerPoint, conduct online research, improve writing skills, as well as learned how to navigate InfoFá, One Global Economy's community portal for Mexico, containing global best practice content on topics such as education, employment, entrepreneurship, money management, health, and citizenship and other locally relevant community issues.  Additionally, the connectors, who are between the ages of 8 and 15, expressed a need to learn and practice typing more efficiently.  The local manager and trainer  installed a typing program called MecaNet on the computers, which teaches users how to type faster.  The connectors have benefitted greatly from the program, which they use during workshops and when they come in to work on homework.  
The center has seen an increase in attendance each month both by University students and staff, as well as surrounding community members and youth.  The University and local manager aim to develop a sustainability plan for the CKC to cover operating expenses in the next year, and possibly charge a small fee for use of services, which are currently offered at no cost, to enable the development and offering of new programs and services. 

Last month,  OGE's locally-based staff traveled to Victoria, Guanajuato to lead a training in business management and leadership at the Community Knowledge Center (CKC) on campus at Universidad Tecnológica del Norte de Guanajuato.  OGE trained the newly selected computer center manager and the school coordinator, assisting with the CKC project in management, communication, marketing, customer service, and planning skills.  The training focused on the particular skillset essential to managing a sustainable computer center, building upon its basic offerings to offer demand-driven programs, and effectively serving University students and the surrounding community.  

Following the training, the CKC manager has launched a marketing campaign in the community to announce the launch of the center, established center hours and rules for the users of the CKC, cultivated partnerships with local highschools to recruit youth to participate in OGE's Community Connectors training program in digital literacy, leadership, and entrepreneurship, and developed weekly agendas of the center's activities.  The manager has begun to implement the Community Connectors program, engaging over 60 youth from various local highschools, who have participated in workshops to learn basic ICT skills and how to adopt technology to gain online research skills, proficiency in Microsoft programs, and improve their studies.  

OGE is grateful for donations made to its Global Giving campaign to further support the development of the CKC and its community engagement activities in Victoria, Guanajuato!


One Global Economy (OGE) and Cisco are working together with the Universidad Tecnológica del Norte de Guanajuato (UTNG) in supporting the development of a Community Knowledge Center (CKC) housed on the University's campus and its integration with the surrounding rural town to serve residents and build the capacity of youth in leadership, technology, entrepreneurship, and community service skills.

To date, UTNG has selected a CKC manager, who is currently running the center, and managing its services, which include offering free Internet service and digital tools to University students and staff, as well as community residents, and introducing OGE’s community development information site featuring local content www.InfoFá to users as a resource for locally relevant community development-focused content and best practice information.  The manager has begun recruiting youth to participate in the Community Connectors program, which is planned to launch in the next quarter.  The majority of Community Connectors will come from the local high school.  Prior to the launch of the Community Connectors program, the manager of the center will participate in OGE's intensive manager's training and Cisco's IT Essentials course to further develop key skills in business management and digital literacy.  

OGE is currently engaged in a deep impact methodology development and will be sharing and analyzing surveys in Mexico in the next two quarters, and it is implementing new skills assessments in its Community Connectors trainings in Toluca that will be added to the Guanajuato program. The purpose of these efforts is to gain greater insight into its participants’ improvements in the areas of income, health, and education so that OGE may further refine the programing for maximum impact, thanks to support from Symantec.

OGE is grateful for the support of its donors, including those from GlobalGiving and from Cisco, who helped to launch this center as well as the development of two additional Community Knowledge Centers with a $150,000 grant. Thank you.

OGE seeks additional support for this program so that more adolescents in Guanajuato may benefit from the power of information to find opportunities to improve their lives. The team requests feedback from current and prospective donors. How can OGE generate more financial support to benefit this effort? How should OGE, the university, and Cisco be promoting this program?  We appreciate your feedback in advance. 

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Project Leader

Elizabeth Kountze

Washington, DC United States

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