HolaMundo – training for hearing-impaired young people

Once in a while you come across a project that you can’t help but share. One that exemplifies the way people across the globe are using Raspberry Pi to make a difference in ways we didn’t quite anticipate.

HolaMundo is one of those projects. They’re using Raspberry Pis for the training they describe (click CC for subtitles to the signed and spoken parts of the video).

Alejandro Mercado and his team in Mexico City are currently crowdfunding to build a teaching programme for young people with a hearing disability. The programme aims to help educate them in computing and web design using Raspberry Pi, with the objective of increasing their educational and employment opportunities in the future.

A trainer teaches a class at HolaMundo, and a sign interpreter signs for him

A trainer teaches a class at HolaMundo, and a sign interpreter signs for him

For young people in Mexico City such as Jorge (the star of the campaign video), the prospects moving forward for those with a hearing impairment are slim. The programme aims to increase the opportunities available to him and his fellow students so that they can move on to higher education and find jobs that might not otherwise be accessible to them.

Jorge, a fifteen-year-old student taking part in the HolaMundo training, signs to the class

Jorge, a fifteen-year-old student taking part in the HolaMundo training, signs to the class

Their target of $70000 MXN (about £2620, or $3700 US) will support the team in teaching students to learn web design with HTML5 and JavaScript as well introducing them to operating systems and programming with Raspberry Pi. The money will be used to pay their sign interpreter, adapt learning materials for a more visual learning process, and, importantly, to give each student their own Raspberry Pi kit so that once they have finished this course they can continue learning.

Projects like this remind us of the capacity of our low-cost computer to provide educational opportunities in all kinds of settings. We’re thrilled to see determined educators worldwide using Raspberry Pi to give young people new opportunities and wider prospects.

If you’d like to donate or simply learn more about the project, visit HolaMundo’s donadora page.


AndrewS avatar

When you go to the donation page, click on the button in the top-right to change the language to “EN Ingles” to display the site in English. Parts of the site are still displayed in Spanish, but I was able to guess enough to successfully make a donation :-)

Alex avatar

Hey Andrew! Alex Mercado I´m the coordinator of this special project just to say thanks.
We are a little closer with your help to reach our goal, we are confident that we are going to be a differentiator factor in this young people life.

regards, Alex

Antonio Rivera avatar

Thanks for sharing this crowdfunding campaign, Alex! We are so glad the Raspberry Pi Foundation has mentioned our project. :D

W. H. Heydt avatar

Very neat… My mother had severe hearing loss (90% in one ear, 95% in the other). Her first hearing aid used vacuum tubes.

One of the big advances for the community was California state program to provide TDD units for everyone who needed one. Around 1980 I was able to ascertain that a conventional 300 baud modem would connect to a TDD. The TDD ran at 110 baud (but just try to find documentation for that…).

Very good to see the Pi being used to go *way* beyond that…

AndrewS avatar

So sound *does* travel through a vacuum?

ameyring avatar

As someone with a hearing loss and programming experience (Pi, Arduino, etc.), this is a great program to show these kids how much fun programming can be and the types of jobs that need programmers.

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