CINTEL - La Boquilla - CO

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Information doc: 

The host organization is the Telecommunications Research Center of Colombia – CINTEL , located in Bogotá. CINTEL works with Proboquilla Foundation as its onsite partner at La Boquilla, city of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. The contact person is Clara Martínez, Project Manager at CINTEL, email:, telephone number: +57 1 6353538 ext. 124, fax number +57 1 635 3336.

Effective member: 

The objective of this Living Lab is to foster innovation for community building through the appropriation of ICTs. The Living Lab is located in the city of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, built around a vulnerable community of approximately 17000 afro descent people (La Boquilla), with very low level of income and poor living conditions. During 4 years of work, the community has had access to technology thanks to donations and contributions of important computer manufacturers, Colombian national government, universities, not-for-profit organizations, and national and international telecommunication companies, among others.


The Living Lab has three public access telecentres with 17, 16 and 10 computers each, a wireless network distributing 100 Mbps of Internet access, connecting 4 sites in the rural areas and informatics laboratories at the different sites of the main plublic school in La Boquilla. Training in computer and Internet literacy and e-promotion & e-prevention activities are developed for different groups of the community (teachers, adults, students, senior citizens) at the participating telecentres and schools.

The Living Lab is currently expanding its area of influence by linking 3 more public schools (approx. 10000 students), a technical higher education centre, not-for-profit organizations and a health services organization, all located in communities of similar conditions in other areas of the city of Cartagena (Pasacaballos, Torices, Barrio Olaya Herrera). Each one of these organizations has/will have a minimum of 10 Mbps of Internet access.

References and Track Record

Impact measurement has shown a decrease of poverty level in the community, associated to Living Lab activities. Activities are performed for, with and by users including education, training, video conferences, internet browsing for research, homework and free time, and access for e-education, among others. The web site was designed with participation of the community, and put in operation in September 2008.    

Throughout the years, the activities developed and infrastructure available have resulted in a decrease of 2% in poverty level, and have led to 48% of Internet users in the community and 65% of PC users in 2009. These numbers reflect a wide impact provided there was nearly no technological access or ICT related activity in the community before the project started.