APC is always looking for South-South networking opportunities. While the wireless project was initially located in Africa, from the outset APC’s strategic uses programme felt that APC should be exploring similar opportunities in other regions.
Information about the African workshops was circulated amongst APC members from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Americo Sanchez of Peruvian APC member CEPES was selected by his peers to participate in the first East Africa workshop in 2005. CEPES had already set up a wireless project where thousands of small-holders were using technology to improve irrigation methods in their arid part of Peru. On his return to Lima, Americo worked on a funding proposal to set up a similar project in the LAC region together with other technicians in APC-LAC. He shared his Zanzibar experiences and facilitated a discussion about how to localise the African project. In 2006, a team of LAC APC members, partners and SU&CB staff finalised a LAC wireless proposal.
As the team monitored the strengths and weaknesses of the emerging Africa workshops, the project was reconfigured. TRICALCAR, as the project became known, put more emphasis on constructing permanent usable networks that will be left to communities who host workshops, as well as on developing a strong network of LAC experts and community network administrators.
As part of TRICALCAR:
A series of training materials were developed, localised into Spanish and published online. A number of Latin American universities run courses based on the materials.
Nearly a hundred telecentre operators, academics and other professionals were trained in building community wireless networks
Regulatory ICT policy concerning community wireless networks were mapped across the LAC region
An online network was created of people interested in using wireless technology for development work in LAC following workshops in three regions.