Intel Inside the Third World

Is getting computers to poor kids charityor big business?

Middle school #156 in Malinalco, an hour and a half drive from Mexico City, is so strapped for cash that it can't even keep the lavatories stocked with toilet paper. Nearly half of the school's 211 students live below the poverty line. But on this June morning, 30 eighth graders are hunched over their desks, tapping on the keyboards of pint-size laptops donated by Intel Corp. (INTC) Chemistry teacher Martina Rosas is giving the students a crash course on Web searching. "The kids participate more in class and are much more interested in reading and investigating online," says Rosas, who herself recently completed 60 hours of computer training.

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