The digital gap in the population continues to be a challenge for society; and this situation still affects more to women who live in rural Costa Rica.The Edunámica Foundation in conjunction with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), with the support of the Central American Aerospace Network (RAC), decided to hold a Women’s Technology Rally in the Sarapiquí area, specifically in the Vida Lapa Refuge. Green, from the Ecovida Foundation.
In this activity, it was possible to convene women from the area who were interested in training and having access to some tools and applications of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to implement them in their ventures, personal and professional activities or to help their community.
Jonathan Castro Chinchilla, coordinator of the IICA digital manufacturing laboratory, explained that “at IICA since 2019 we realized that one of the vulnerable and least addressed populations in the country are young women in rural areas between the ages of 18 and 35. As a result of this, we created the Rally, which is a methodology, where we have young women who work with rural women learning different low-cost and quick-learning technologies so that they can apply them to their work, company, venture or community.”
For his part, David Romero Serrano, biologist coordinator of the Lapa Verde Refuge, of the EcoVida Foundation said that “in our case, the use of technology and the ideas that the women who participate in the rally today will be of great help to improve the conservation activities that we carry out, because we have a lot of needs, such as having control and area protection; and in this case, technology and the use of autonomous sensors will help determine where there is illegal income or if trees are being felled”.
But what is the rally about?
It is a competition whose main objective is innovation and the search for creative solutions through geospatial technologies.The competition consists of raising territorial issues, related to risk management, climate change, water resources, agriculture and environmental management. Each of the participants must pose challenges for their community, based on each of the themes indicated. Then, with the support of sponsors and mentors, potential solutions to each of these challenges are sought.
Among the technologies that women learn at the Rally are: aerospace, 3D printing geography, how to fly and drive a drone, how to use a GPS, and how these tools can be applied to different projects of daily life, entrepreneurship or business ideas.
Testimonials from Women who were part of the Rally
The project hopes to reach many more women this 2023. That is why two participants of the Sarapiquí Rally invite more women to take advantage of the opportunity and join:
The first of them is Fernanda Sáenz Vargas who was very interested, because she saw that different training courses were going to be given that are not offered in the area where she lives. In addition, commented that this knowledge contributes to the exercise of her profession as an environmental consultant.
“During the event, we developed a tool that would allow us to monitor connectivity in the San Juan La Selva biological corridor, where we used different geospatial tools and applications, as well as a 3D printing and prototyping application,” said Sáenz.
“This monitoring that we plan would help in the management of the territory and its ordering, define the changes that have occurred over time in the Biological Corridor; and how this has affected ecological connectivity; Therefore, it would help us make decisions that improve the quality of life of the people who live within the corridor in the short, medium and long term,” added Sáenz.
On the other hand, Katherine Mora, another of the participants, indicated that she is a very active person in the community and was interested in being part of the training, because the Las Palmitas School had made a proposal to make an orchard for a Blue Flag project.
“This training will allow me to develop a drip irrigation prototype for the School’s garden. This, because during the school year there are special and free dates, where the garden would be without care and with this technique it will continue to be green and alive”, added Mora.
Mora uses an app called ARWINO, since it requires the system to automatically water the garden every 10 minutes three times a day. In addition, with this the students will be able to see the development of what are the seedbeds, the orchard and the drip system.
“Finally, these initiatives contribute to shortening the technological and digital gap among the female population, and with this allows them to acquire knowledge to generate a better quality of life at a family and personal level and to a greater development of their communities,” Romero concluded.