When an Indigenous community in Oaxaca, snubbed by telecom giants, created its own mobile network, things didn’t go exactly as planned. But the experiment revealed the strength of its social bonds.
Imagine you’re in a picturesque Mexican village, nestled high in the mountains of the Sierra Madre. In your hand, you’re gripping a cellphone. You’re staring at your device’s signal bars, hoping to see them come alive for the first time. Suddenly, the bars glow brightly. Success! You continue testing the network, winding up steep cobblestone paths between sunbaked, stucco houses. Gleeful cheers begin erupting everywhere. Stunned villagers stagger outside, holding cellphones.