Mayan Medical Aid
Internet
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Participants have the opportunity to avail themselves of both cell phone service and Internet access in Santa Cruz. Although there are several options for receiving these services, we recommend using a smartphone and a local SIM card, so as to have both services on one device.

Most smartphones are capable of serving as a WiFi hotspot. To have this capability in Guatemala, participants will need to have their US provider UNLOCK their phone.

We do not recommend the purchase of an international plan for two reasons. The cost of such plans are enormous, and international plans use local cell-service providers, making the quality of the service with an international plan the same as if one purchases an inexpensive, local SIM card.

With an unlocked phone, which providers now, by law, are required to allow, participants can purchase a local SIM card here and, then, purchase a Phone / Internet plan to suit their needs. These plans vary in price, depending on how many gigabytes of information transfer participants think that they will use during the time they will be here. Almost every participant with an unlocked smartphone chooses this option.

Others purchase an inexpensive local phone for phone service only and also purchase an Internet-type SIM card, which can be put into an iPad or other tablet, if the iPad or tablet have a SIM-card slot. Alternatively, the SIM card can be put into a computer, by purchasing an inexpensive USB cellular modem. The latter can be put into the USB port of most computers for Internet access. With both of these options, participants can have Internet access wherever they have their tablet or computer with the USB modem.

In some houses, there is WiFi access. This Internet access, however, is via satellite. Although it comes free with the rent, the problems with this type of service are legion.

Because the satellite dish is a fixed structure, it only is possible to have Internet access when at home. In addition, satellite Internet is slow and can be non-existent under two circumstances: 1) if it is cloudy or 2) if the Internet is shared with too many others. In the latter case, more users make the service slower (only so much water in the tube), and if the total use by all users exceeds the daily limit, the service for all users is shut down for 24 hours.

Neither the clinic nor the home stays provide WiFi or other Internet access. As such, using a SIM card for Internet access in these locations is necessary.

By US standards, phone and Internet service here is inexpensive. One can call the US for approximately 20 cents USD per minute, as opposed to the $5.00 USD per minute average charge for calls originating from the US.

If you need further assistance, we are happy to work with participants on an individual basis. Please let us know the following:

Which kind of phone do you have?

Do you have an iPad or other tablet?

Which kind of computer and model do you have?
Copyright:
Craig A. Sinkinson 2016
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