Colonia residents are taking action this week to bring accessible, affordable Internet to their rural Rio Grande Valley neighborhoods.
A small number of RGV school districts begin classes this week. It is a reminder that when the majority of districts start the new school year remotely at the end of August and beginning of September, colonia students will still lack the internet connectivity and devices they need to succeed in school.
For that reason this week, colonia residents are engaging in a week of action to build support for internet access in colonias. Throughout the week, LUPE will drive signatures to our Internet pledge using social media and text messages and then present the campaign to Rep Terry Canales on Thursday morning during a virtual community meeting.
As part of the social media push, colonia residents will share photos/videos of themselves on social media with the message “Ya hiciste la promesa?” (“Have you made the pledge?”), referring to LUPE’s pledge to fight for accessible and affordable Internet access in colonias. LUPE will collect the photos and publish them on our Facebook page and Instagram.
When students must stay home to stay safe, Internet access is a necessity.
Two of the regions with the lowest rates of broadband Internet in the U.S. are in the Rio Grande Valley. That’s largely due to colonias being left out of the expansion of broadband infrastructure.
We know that RGV leaders recognize that the Valley has a problem with access to Internet. We also know that if colonia residents are left out of the decision-making process, they will be left out of the solutions that politicians and county officials propose.
That is why we launched a campaign to bring accessible, high-speed Internet to RGV colonias. We are collecting signatures from colonia residents throughout the Valley to show elected officials that we are serious about winning Internet for our neighborhoods.