Awaiting Internet Access, Remote Brazilian Tribes Debate Its Promise, Peril

When the sun sinks behind the palm and mango trees, candlelight flickers throughout a tiny village of thatched huts where about 100 Xavante Indians live.The villagers here lack electricity, but not technical ambition. Just beyond the semicircle of huts sits a new one-room school building, and a place inside has already been reserved for an eagerly anticipated local milestone: the village’s first computer.In the past several months, an information technology boom has started to spread through the Indian villages that dot Brazil’s countryside, from the Amazon rain forest to the Pantanal wetlands.The federal government earlier this year announced a new program to provide satellite Internet access to 150 remote communities, in hopes that they will be better equipped to protect themselves against illegal logging and other threats to their culture.

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