Distance learning is difficult under the best of circumstances. But imagine what it is like without home internet.

“All my neighbors are having a hard time with their children,” said Wendy Barrientos, who lives in an area of San Ysidro without internet service coverage. “They don’t cover this area, that’s why we’re having a hard time.”

Barrientos has a fourth-grade son doing distance learning. At first, she said, he used her cell phone to get internet.

“It was very hard doing it with the phone… We lost internet a lot, it was very slow… and he missed a lot of instruction,” she said.

Now she takes her son to her friend’s house where the internet is more reliable. If he has any homework to do later, they must return to the friend’s house.

Good news came last Friday when the San Ysidro School District received 1,050 mobile Wi-Fi hotspots from the San Diego Office of Education, which is working with Verizon, AT&T, and Cox to provide free or low-cost internet to families without connectivity.

The news made Barrientos very happy, but she became emotional looking back at the struggle to get for her son what many others already have for their children – a good education.

“You want the best for your children, and I know I’m not the only one having a hard time with the children, and it’s not fair,” she said.

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