HAVANA TIMES — No dear Cuban readers, I’m not making a bad joke. What I’m saying is absolutely true. In the Ecuadorian Amazon there’s full Internet service.
These days I’m living in Lago Agrio, the capital of the province of Sucumbios, near the Ecuadorian border with Colombia, surrounded almost completely by jungle and rugged landscapes.
Lago Agrio is in an area that, with other small towns, emerged as the result of the oil boom of the 1970s. It’s where the Texaco Corporation leads in the pollution of the groundwater of much of the Amazon.
All one has to do is leave any of the villages in this area to see the jungle imposing itself in its rain-filled splendor.
Neither the distance from the capital, the city’s remoteness or the jungle, have been problems for the people who border Colombia to be included on the Internet.
From here you can easily access the Internet, as there are several companies offering all kinds of connections at affordable prices with access through fixed telephone lines or Wifi.
Also, for lower-income people, cafes offer browsing for only 75 cents (USD) an hour.
With trees like the Ceibos (over 30 meters high), and indigenous tribes like the Tagaeri, who resist contact with Western man, the Amazon region here has in the Internet that element which inevitably ties it to today’s world.
In recent days, when visiting the town of El Coca, the capital of Orellana province, I was impressed to see young people in the park connected to Internet from their laptops through a wireless network that’s absolutely free, although it might seem El Coca was the end of the world.
After thinking about it, I found it quite logical, because if Gabriel Garcia Marquez saw a galleon in the middle of the jungle, then what’s wrong with the Internet in the Amazon?