Undergraduate Blog / Defining Your Babson

First PAYG store owner in Latin America

As previously mentioned in a blog post, I helped make the instruction manual for store owners that would be the points of sale for community members to buy the required codes. As we arrived to do the training, Justo was waiting patiently. We thought it was a good sign that his name was Just in English. This is because we are placing a lot of confidence in our re-sellers to not try and break into the smart phone, to sell the codes to all clients, to keep a sufficient balance to service clients.  Most importantly, we need them to believe in the system. The PAYG system is very similar to cell phone credit sales.

Explaining the process with Justo was very as he only spoke the Mayan dialect of K’echi. Additionally, we did not have time to make the app in K’echi; therefore, we had to explain what the messages meant. The pictures and diagrams in the user manual were crucial. This is a key lesson that I have taken in. Some customers, especially those that have not seen a Gringo, or foreigner in 2 years, will be much more apt to look at a picture and understand than hear the words coming out of my mouth. It was very shocking to hear from the community members that Alex and I were the first foreigners to visit the community in two years.

One of our major helpers in San Vicente was the nephew of Justo, Juan, who knew Spanish and helped explain and translate our messages. In this manner, it is interesting that the kids can have more knowledge than the adults, a situation I have rarely run into. In these rural communities this is more the rule than exception.

In the end, Justo received a number of payments from clients, and he successfully met with us in the more central town of Campur to pay for more credit to sell. We have planned this meeting as he goes to Campur anyway to stock up on goods for his shop.