In an effort to provide victims of Hurricane Katrina with a communication tool to reach their family and friends, The University of Texas-Pan American will send its ¡Adelante! Mobile to Houston Sept. 6.
The ¡Adelante! Mobile - a 38-foot fifth wheel trailer - is a traveling self-contained communication center that is equipped with nine Pentium-based computers and state-of-the-art, two-way satellite transmission.
The unit, which is headed to Houston and possibly New Orleans, is outfitted with advanced wireless technology which makes use of a retractable antenna to send and receive Internet data rapidly by bouncing a signal from a telecommunications satellite 22,000 miles over the equator. Because the unit has its own power supply, which runs off of diesel fuel, the unit can operate anywhere lacking electric or telephone service.
"It will also be used to help people find jobs," he said. "There is going to be 25-50 percent unemployment because all of the businesses are shut down. This will aid people in finding jobs so they have some type of income."
The ¡Adelante! Mobile has traveled the rural roads of South Texas to educate students, business owners, teachers, farmers, government officials and residents of the Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone about the information superhighway.
The ¡Adelante! Mobile was made possible through a grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and generous corporate contributions from Hughes Network Systems, Southwestern Bell, Dell Computer Corporation, Intel, ACS Dataline and the Council for South Texas Economic Progress.
"President Cárdenas is very touched by what has been happening, as all Americans are, and she would like for us to help in any way we can," Arriola said.
For more information about the ¡Adelante! Mobile, call 956/381-3361.