Living Without Electricity in Baja California

Living Without Electricity in Baja California

by accessing the Internet through cell phones. Unfortunately, this can have a negative economic consequence as they must periodically buy higher priced prepaid cards. Some people must recharge their cell phones at the homes of friends and family or clandestinely log-on using their neighbors' Internet signal. However, many residents pointed to a unique solution and apparently common practice: consensual shared Internet usage. Neighbors agree to payment terms and then employ a repeater antenna that amplifies the original signal. Television, however, appeared to hold little value for citizens. Most of the comments to the open questions on this point referred to the importance of alternative activities to watching television, such as caring for plants or animals, housework and, in the case of children, doing homework or playing with their neighbors. 4. Hygiene and Cleanliness Half of the residents surveyed in our project own washing machines, but are unable to use the appliance for lack of electricity. Most are forced to do their laundry by hand, and those who can afford the expense use laundromats. In some cases, people turn to neighbors or relatives who own washing machines. This provokes a difficult dependency for such a fundamental and necessary service for a family┬┤s well-being and quality of life. An iron was viewed by respondents as the least valued. For those that indicated a desire to have an iron, most intended to use it for their children's uniforms, an activity that has been unnecessary during the Covid 19 pandemic and school closures. Some homes do have an iron, but, in the absence of electricity, they must heat it on a gas stove to be able to use it. Most comments and responses pointed to the limited need to own an iron. Health and Quality of Life Access to electricity can also have a direct health impact, as our project identified. Citizens who suffer from illness and disease oftentimes require their medication to be refrigerated. Others with disabilities are unable to move around with ease, a situation that has been aggravated by the Covid 19 pandemic. People who live without electricity in their homes are dependent on their relatives and friends to carry out activities that they would normally do in their own homes.

We found that about 40 percent of the houses that do not have electricity in Baja California are in an irregular situation.

An important theme that also came up in the conversation with the focus groups is how most of the participants had always lived with electricity until they bought the land or homes


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