We are grateful that increased cellphone service has led to internet access for people in previously unreachable areas! Not only are we in touch with educators who travel from city to country to do their work, but also with residents and leaders of rural communities themselves.
Internet access has exposed South Americans to the same lies and rumors as the rest of the world…We heard firsthand confusion over the use of clorox as treatment for COVID 19, a dangerous lie suggested initially by extremists of one stripe and later embraced by their supposed enemies. But we were also inspired by rural people who banded together and shared information and assistance with each other, curing themselves with both ancient and modern remedies.
We were especially inspired and honored to be invited to contribute to an international festival of music hosted by one community that had hosted our language documentation team. They have proven to be extraordinarily proactive and resourceful, holding meeting after meeting, developing their own videos and press conferences, and successfully drawing attention and funding for a project to address the drought in their region and their families’ immediate need for water.