Roots of Hope is holding a Code for Cuba Hackathon to develop tools for residents get things done while dodging online restrictions

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The Code For Cuba event, which kicks off April 25th at Facebook’s headquarters, will give prizes to those with solutions that are not only effective, but deal with a tough Cuban reality where connections are slow, scarce, and heavily censored. Roots of Hope, a nongovernmental organization focused on empowering youth in Cuba through technology and entrepreneurship, is hosting the two-day hackathon in the San Francisco Bay Area at Facebook Headquarters.

The project is Roots of Hope’s second annual liberation/circumvention tech hackathon, their first hackathon was hosted in Miami in January 2014, establishing the conversation around what innovative technology solutions can meet for Cuba. The goal of this hackathon is to develop ideas and applications that can be launched into the Cuban reality, and to inform and empower a broader community around the topics of technology and innovation in Cuba. This year’s theme, “Connectivity, Digital Activism, and Entrepreneurial Empowerment”, encourages greater dialogue, free speech, and knowledge-sharing among Cubans and the world.


Check out the winning innovative ideas from the Miami hackathon:

Apretaste: An online marketplace similar to Craigslist, which allows users to purchase and sell goods and services directly from one another. Apretaste is completely functional via email, making it accessible to the over 60% of Cuba’s population with email access.

Cuba Direct: An email-based application which allows users to access Google searches, Wikipedia articles, Twitter updates and more, without needing a connection to the Internet, and therefore making it available to over 60% of Cubans.

Raspberry Pi: A credit-card-sized single-board computer, adapted to allow Cubans on the island to create web access points for sharing information with those in their vicinity.

-Infinite Wiz(@InfiniteWiz)