Monday, June 17, 2024

Oaxaca hotel opens doors to students, provides internet and TV

As physical classrooms are replaced with a distance learning program due to the coronavirus pandemic, children from low income and rural families are often finding themselves at a disadvantage as essential tools for learning are financially out of reach. 

But a hotel in the heart of Oaxaca’s capital is looking to level the playing field. 

Hotel Don Nino, which is closed due to the pandemic, has opened its doors to children in need, providing two rooms and the dining room as classrooms, complete with a television, computer and high-speed internet. 

“Being at home, my daughters shared their concern for those students who do not have television or internet,” hotel manager Carlos said. “Last weekend we prepared the restaurant area and the meeting room. In addition, the television channels were adjusted and the internet connection was checked.”

Carlos reasoned that since he has to pay for basic services such as electricity, water and internet anyway, it made sense to take advantage of the space and keep children in school by opening it up to distance learning.

Study time at Hotel Don Nino in Oaxaca city.
Study time at Hotel Don Nino in Oaxaca city.

The hotel is open daily, free of charge, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult and everyone must wear masks. Capacity is limited to 15 students, who are greeted with anti-bacterial gel and a temperature check.

University students are also taking advantage of the hotel-turned-study-hall. Clara Montaño Bautista, who studies communication science at Oaxaca’s Vasconcelos University, says she uses the hotel for school because the town where she lives, Teotitlán Del Valle, is 31 kilometers away. Cell phone coverage there is spotty and the internet speed is slow and irregular.

According to government data, Oaxaca has the second-lowest percentage of internet users in Mexico at 60.5%. One in four homes in the state does not have a television.

Source: La Jornada (sp), El Universal (sp)

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