Dear brigade members in Santa Lucia and Concepcion,
I hope you are getting ready for a great time in rural Honduras. I have a very important request for your visit there. We do have internet in the clinics, but the bandwidth is very limited and it is vital for clinic functions . For those of us not used to limited bandwidth, it is hard to comprehend the amount of internet traffic that is created by “browsing” . Even simply looking at a video clip of yesterday’s football game or using Skype on your phone for 5 minutes or canuse a ½ day of our allotment. Please limit your internet usage to simple email for communications. Do not browse the internet, do not upload or download pictures or video or audio. Do not download or install any programs, no matter how familiar you are with it. Social networking sites will not be available such as My Space, Facebook, etc. Skype or other video or audio calling is not permitted. Do not bring a laptop. Most connections to hospital systems in the states do not work, so get your charts up to date before you leave the US. Do not connect to the internet with your phone. As a member of a team, if anyone person violates these rules, the internet company will stop service for a day or two until the average usage drops below the break point. Please do not be the person that causes the inconvenience for everyone. Let’s work together as a team. If you see any translators abusing this policy, please politely inform them of the issue, they often are not familiar with this system either.
Use of “international” phones can be very, very expensive, even for just email and data. Please check your carrier before turning on your phone in Honduras. El Salvador ( only a few miles from Santa Lucia) and Honduras have GSM systems. US phone carriers are getting more and more receptive to working with the Honduran system. Phone calls are still very expensive, but you may want to look into your carrier’s texting only offerings. Much cheaper. Summary: Please do not count on internet to conduct any business while you are there. There are no guarantees the internet will be available during your visit.
Thank you very much.