Guilt is a feeling I have felt in the past few days.
I came into this project, hoping to use my knowledge and experience as a Bonner to make social change in Elemental. But I can’t do that when I walk out of work everyday and see students selling gum in the streets. It pains me to go to Elemental and work with students who use Arduinos to build robots, knowing that when I leave work, I will see kids in the streets playing with their one toy truck.
These are complex feelings that I struggle with every day here in La Paz. The digital divide has never been
so visible before. The education system is not built to provide equity. It’s gotten to the point that the government will pay parents a bonus at the end of the year if their student finishes the school year. They have to give out incentive to families to prevent kids from working.
These feelings are still raw, complex, and mixed. But I hope that my time in Elemental helps me better understand their role in the digital divide, and how my future work can help close the gap. I feel more motivated to create social impact in any place that I work in, whether it be here in Bolivia or back in the States.