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Remote Access

Stretching the World Wide Web a little bit farther

Author Chaney Kwak

ARGENTINA—Clarita Lamas doesn’t speak a lick of English. She lives in Jujuy, a province in northwestern Argentina, in a settlement where goats outnumber people. She bakes bread in an outdoor mud oven and walks four hours a day to tend to her livestock. More often than not, she’ll have a visitor tagging along—someone from Australia, say, or Israel. This is because, more or less by accident, Lamas has become an adventure-tourism attraction.

It started a decade ago when Lamas took in a stranded hiker, who returned to Europe and spread the word via the Internet. Suddenly, people from across the globe were knocking on the door of her small adobe house, all with an interest in helping her milk the goats.

Lamas, who doesn’t have a phone, corresponds with her guests online, which requires her flagging down a bus and riding 10 miles to the nearest town. When asked if communication gets tricky, given the wide range of nationalities involved, she slaps her knee and says, “Internet translator!”

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