Technology has been progressing at an incredible and unprecedented pace. Opportunities have been born out of getting a good grasp on technology and how it will continue to evolve in the future. Undoubtedly, we are only scraping the surface on what technology can actually do to drive innovation and incite positive global change. Driven by her passion for tech, Gabriela Ariza, a Cybersecurity Lead and a Technology Influencer, has taken it upon herself to transfer her knowledge on technology to others through her organization, HaITian Common Space.
Growing up, Gabriela Ariza was always exposed to technology at such a young age. If not for those formative experiences, she wouldn’t know what she would do as a career. Recently, Haiti has undergone a massive shift with the death of the president and more political unrest. Gabriela aims to make a positive difference to her community by lending her technological expertise.
So, she launched a non-profit organization called The HaITian Common Space in hopes of opening the doors towards technology to all Haitians from ages 7 and up. HaITian Common Space is a free technology center and co-working space in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti. Founded by Gabriela Ariza at the height of the global pandemic, the organization is bringing jobs and learning opportunities to a country that has a 60% unemployment rate.
Gabriela Ariza saw this as an opportunity because most companies would now become remote, and there would be more opportunities for remote work. HaITian Common Space offers web programming, cybersecurity, computer networking, and basic computer classes to all age groups. “Our youngest learners have been 7 years old,” shared Gabriela.
Classes are held during the weekdays and weekends to accommodate school schedules and other activities. The organization also provides free certifications for the CompTIA certifications, which are industry standards in competing with the rest of the world.
“Our nonprofit is meant to help all ages. For children, we look to provide: Creativity and freedom of expression, socialization, relationship building, independence, empowerment, problem-solving and perseverance,” explained Gabriela.
“For adults, we are providing them with in-demand job preparations to compete with others across the globe,” she added. HaITian Common Space gives its students the tools and skills of technology. The organization also connects them with overseas companies so they can get job opportunities from all across the globe. HaITian Common Space doesn't just provide tech classes. It also offers a space where people can work and have access to the internet, electricity, and tech devices.
Many people in Haiti are unable to work remotely due to the infrastructure provided in the country. Gabriela Ariza and HaITian Common Space have changed that in Cap-Haïtien by providing a space where not just tech-savvy people belong but also individuals in manufacturing, farming, finance who are planning to move their businesses online. Streamlining these businesses allows businesses to be more efficient because there is less room for paper errors.
Overall, Gabriela Ariza and HaITian Common Space are providing all the positive things that technology has to offer. In the near future, Gabriela hopes to tackle the five largest cities in Haiti by providing courses and locations within those five cities. She hopes to expand the magnificent services of her non-profit organization. It’s clear to see that her bold mission will come to fruition thanks to her passion, perseverance, and sheer hard work.