Dulce Alejandra Tello sometimes felt isolated in her rural community near Coban, Guatemala and was always craving connection—and connectivity. When renewable energy company New Sun Road opened one of its Stellar Ixq-Saq'e Digital Community Centers (SIS Centers) in Dulce’s town of San Luis Chicoyou, she was eager to become involved.

“Since I was little, digital technology has always captured my attention,” reflected Dulce. “And then when I saw the opportunity to learn more [at the digital community center], I knew I couldn’t let the opportunity pass.” At 17-years old, Dulce became the youngest member of the San Luis Chicoyou Women’s Leadership Committee (WLC), which oversees the SIS Center’s operations and maintenance. 

Across Guatemala’s Alta Verapaz region, the USAID/Microsoft Airband Initiative partnered with New Sun Road to establish ten SIS Centers and, in turn, ten WLCs to run them. A public-private partnership seeking to bridge the rural broadband gap and close the gender digital divide, the USAID/Microsoft Airband Initiative in Guatemala leverages local knowledge and partners to maximize impact.