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High Speed Internet Comes to Maya Jaguar

One of the major obstacles facing remote areas in Guatemala is lack of access to the internet. The internet is no longer a luxury – it has become a requirement for effective communications, information, administration, and education. Initial access at Maya Jaguar Institute required the use of an expensive satellite internet provider. That system was limited in capacity and did not provide the high-speed broadband access needed for the many applications at the Maya Jaguar school campus. Enter Starlink With the development and deployment of Starlink service, that situation has changed. Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by the American aerospace company SpaceX that provides satellite internet access coverage to over 60 countries, now including Guatemala as of July.

Starlink is the world's first and largest satellite constellation using low earth orbits to deliver high-speed, low-latency broadband internet capable of supporting streaming, video calls, and more.

It is the Starlink satellite constellation’s low earth orbit that makes the difference. The lower orbit (about 340 miles above earth) compared to the geostationary orbit of our previous satellite internet provider (about 22,300 miles) allows much faster uplink and downlink speeds, usually by a factor of 10 or more.

Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala was able to purchase Starlink receivers and routers for Maya Jaguar schools to acquire internet access at a fraction of the previous system’s cost. Unfortunately, a lightning strike on campus last week knocked out several support systems - antenna, receiver, and routers.

The staff in Guatemala was able to replace the antenna within a day with a new Starlink system that was planned to be installed on the other side of the campus. Board members then contacted several potential donors to help with the acquisition of new Starlink systems. Within a week, we were able to acquire five Starlink kits to replace lightning-damaged equipment and expand internet access to more of the Maya Jaguar campus, and in the surrounding villages to enable connectivity for the Bilingual Early Literacy teachers as well – all at an introductory special price. Lightning rods will protect the new systems.

This YouTube video explains how the Starlink system works:

This acquisition and installation is a game-changer for what we are able to offer the faculty and staff, but most importantly, it puts the power of the internet firmly in the hands of our students.


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