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Latin America Resource
and Training Center

60 New Computers for Schools in El Salvador
By Rod and Sherry Boyd

Once again, David and Deborah Kaiser and the Little Davey team from the Portland, OR area delivered the goods! They assembled and installed 60 computers in four different school computer labs in El Salvador, Central America the last week of March.

The 2010 team is the fifth Little Davey team. Little Davey began providing computers for schools in 2005. This year’s team was also the largest team ever with 14 members, plus the two of us.

All of the team members carried the internal components (motherboard/processor, memory and hard drive) in their carry-on luggage. They also brought network hubs and connectors for each computer lab and five Nike soccer balls for each school. Little Davey raises funds from local businesses and individuals to cover these costs. Team members pay their own travel expenses.

Latin America ChildCare and local schools paid for lab preparation (electrical, cabling, furniture, etc.) and the other larger components (monitor, case, keyboard/mouse and DVD-ROM drive). These components were purchased locally.

The team arrived on Friday night and worked all day Saturday. Work takes place on two fronts. Most of the team assembles the computers. A few members prepare a master hard drive with the operating system and other software, and then begin making copies on the rest of the hard drives. Most of the computers were completed by the end of the day on Saturday.

After church and rest on Sunday, the team began deliveries to the schools. These school visits are much more than simply installing a computer lab. After unpacking computers and monitors, half of the team visits the classrooms to share a brief English and culture lesson and give children candy and the teacher a sack of supplies and gifts. The other half of the team sets up the computers, network cables and hub. We then invite a group of children into their new computer lab for a dedication ceremony.

Each school experience is unique. The first three schools were located in the greater San Salvador area. The first two schools are huge, with well over 1,000 students attending in two shifts, morning and afternoon. The third school had almost 1,000 students. The 15 computers we installed for these three schools were adding to existing computer labs, replacing very old, non-operational computers. The new modern computers with LCD monitors made for a stark contrast to the out-dated computers that these schools try to keep running.

Almost always, one experience stands out as the most memorable. This describes the fourth and last school we visited on Thursday. We traveled almost three hours out of San Salvador to the community of Guatajiagua, located in the hotter low lands. This is a smaller school, with 273 students. We were installing a brand new computer lab. The director, teachers and students were so excited! This installation took longer. The first order of business was to put all of the computer desks together. And even though all of the network cable was run, we had to put the connectors on and test each cable.

The dedication of the lab was the most special we’ve had so far. The director of the school asked if it would be OK if she shared a testimony. She explained how they had started a prayer group of teachers and students a year ago and that a new computer lab was on the top of their list! She said we were an answer to their prayers. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place!

We’re so grateful for the ministry of Little Davey and for the work of this year’s team. These people have become dear friends. They have caught a vision for the complete gospel that is captured by the LACC slogan: transforming the heart, inspiring the mind. Simply put, giving kids the opportunity to learn computers and technology gives them the little lift they may need to not just come to the Lord, but to also become all that He desires for them to be.

If you would be interested in organizing or being a part of a “Computers for Schools” team, please visit our Computers for School page on our website.