The La Plaza Telecommunity Foundation (La Plaza) is an electronic plaza where students, seniors, Hispanics, Native Americans, Anglos, and others meet, communicate, and get information important to their daily lives. La Plaza helps bring the diverse cultures in the rural Taos region, where seventy per cent of the population is Hispanic and another ten per cent is Native American, closer together. La Plaza provides access to the arts, education, government, health care, business and other information and communication resources free of charge for everyone via public access computers and dial-in connections.
People living in rural communities can have a difficult time obtaining adequate health care. Using on-line systems can be an ideal method for providing health-related education, maintenance, and follow-up. Currently, patients must travel up to sixty-five miles to obtain such help. La Plaza will use grant funds to connect health care providers from Holy Cross Hospital to five remote clinics and their patients.
In addition to health care, La Plaza will provide remote villages with K-12 information resources, government information, economic development and job information, and a global outlet for regional Hispanic, Anglo, and Native American arts and crafts. The project will also create cost-effective remote-site access, training and outreach, serving as a model for systems in other regions of the country.
In addition to Holy Cross Hospital, partners in the project include the University of New Mexico-Taos, Taos County, Taos Pueblo Day School, the Indian Health Service, and US West.