This university student has hit the headlines after being snapped climbing a tree every day to receive a signal on his phone to be able to keep attending his classes online.
Alexander Contreras, 20, is studying Communication at the Autonomous University of Santa Ana and lives in the rural municipality of Atiquizaya, in the department of Ahuachapan in El Salvador.
The student was snapped by his father at the top of a tree attending online classes on his phone after the country went into coronavirus lockdown. He has a notebook and an umbrella to protect himself from the sun.
Local media report the top of the tree is the only place Contreras can receive a connection on his phone and the images of him attending the lessons were widely shared in El Salvador, even being shared by President Nayib Bukele.
The student told local media: “The tree is the only place with a bit of connection. Sometimes I would like to be on a sofa or a chair attending lessons, like everybody else.”
He said he is sometimes scared of strong winds or falling from the tree. His father told local media the family are suffering from financial difficulties and Contreras, known as Alex, said that when he cannot get a connection his teachers and classmates send him their notes and the homework to study at a later date.
The father, who works as a security guard, reportedly spends 10 USD (8 GBP) per week so that his son has data to attend classes.
Alex added “I do what I do to be able to work and provide information in the media someday” and encouraged others to study as it a sacrifice worth making to “have our dreams come true”.
After the story was widely shared the government has reportedly provided Alex with devices to ensure he receives a stronger connection at home, as can be seen in the images.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, El Salvador has registered 218 cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths.
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