It comes as no surprise that the youth of 2021 are more hyper-connected, with children and young adults making up one-third of all internet users. But the real question is whether children’s digital wherewithal is able to keep pace with this expedited digital use. Especially considering that this rapid adoption of technology is manifesting a dichotomy between the haves and the have nots on a global scale. In developing countries, in particular, digital use is becoming more prevalent, but juxtaposed against this is a lack of infrastructure and resources needed to support this movement.
In Latin America (LATAM), some governments are stepping to try and patch these disparities. In Colombia, a law passed in July declaring the internet as an “essential public service”, with Chile and Argentina passing similar decrees and Peru and Brazil considering the same. However it was shown in Mexico, despite notable improvements in internet connectivity, quality of service, and prices, that the country still falls significantly below the rates of other countries in its economic development and integration of the internet. This showcases the simple fact that unless average LATAM households are given the tools they need to not only access the internet but also understand how to use it, how feasible are these broad-reaching mandates?
One company, Cargamos, is working to patch these existing disparities in digital access by leveling the playing field and providing technical education to the LATAM region. Working to promote learning within the tech industry, the Cargamos platform launched ‘Educa’, a free programming boot camp to help foster the talents of youth and adults alike in Mexico and Guatemala. Let’s take a look at this program, and what it will do to help developing nations in LATAM keep up with the evolving digital world.
Balancing the Digital Scales
Cargamos’ Educa boot camp is working in collaboration with Silabuz.com, an online education platform, and the Focolare Movement, a foundation that works to catalyze unity worldwide. Combining the power of the generous donations by these two entities, Cargamos is able to execute this new initiative to foster the next generation of digital professionals.
As society leans more on technology, so too does the job sector. Industries across the board are requiring more and more knowledge of digital tools and applications as initial qualifiers for their open positions. Educa’s program will help level the playing field for technology careers most in-demand today to those in Mexico and Guatemala by providing the tools necessary to incubate this growth. In Mexico alone, this will be substantial—a recent survey of 500 companies revealed that approximately 65% are looking for talent in careers related to technology.
For each adult who enters the boot camp, a full scholarship is provided to a student who is in the final years of high school—helping to improve adults’ skill sets who are in existing roles, bettering their future, all while simultaneously educating the next generation. There are no contingencies for those that want to apply, and no prior knowledge is required.
Forging a Technological Future for LATAM
Young scholars in Mexico and Guatemala will receive everything they need to complete their learning online from the program. Silabuz provides the online digital learning platform and the physical school classrooms, required equipment, and a tutor savvy to basic computer needs is provided by the Focolare Movement.
Students’ education incorporates learning how to create web pages, eCommerce and web applications, and many other high-complexity technological skills that are in high demand in the global market. The end goal is that students develop innovative projects where they apply everything they have learned—manifesting their own capstone portfolio of work. This instills confidence in their capabilities, giving students trust in themselves to think quickly on their feet and feel prepared to enter the ever-evolving tech industry.Technology had already deeply rooted itself into society before the onset of the pandemic, but when COVID-19 entered the picture everything on the digital front was especially accelerated. Technological scope has been increasing exponentially by the day and is becoming more and more vital to future careers than in previous generations. If you want to bolster your own skillset in the world of programming while also helping a young person in need get their chance in the fast-paced technology industry, check out Cargamos’ official website to get involved with the Educa progam.
Disclaimer: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company.