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SMALL BUSINESS | HEARD ON THE BEAT: Small Business

HispanicVista.com to Bridge Digital Divide

March 01, 2000|LEE ROMNEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Los Angeles-based HispanicVista.com, a Latino new-media company which aims to serve the Latino community, has announced a venture to help bridge the digital divide for Latino children and entrepreneurs.

The site, which offers news and information in English, has purchased a national license to AltaVista HomeBase tools in an agreement with My Way/Zip2, a CMGI company. Now, HispanicVista is offering those tools--Internet access, Web sites, e-mail and more--to Latino organizations across the West in an effort to help the community while drawing traffic to its own venture.

The company will provide online communications and education services--including bilingual Internet software--to the Montebello-based Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, which serves more than 7,500 California Latinos through 32 centers between San Ysidro and Monterey County.

The company will finance hardware and wiring upgrades for the centers, and create Web pages for each, facilitating an Intranet for the organization and also bringing members online through individual e-mail accounts. A customized bilingual Internet program will also be made available to MAOF's child-care centers and classrooms, said HispanicVista Chairman and CEO Sal Osio.

MAOF is the state's largest Latino community service organization. HispanicVista has also paired with the Texas Assn. of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce to bring each member entrepreneur online and connect the chambers in cyberspace. HispanicVista has offered those services to members of the Los Angeles-based Latin Business Assn. as well, but that organization's board of directors has not yet accepted the offer, Osio said.

All the sites created would be listed on HispanicVista.com's Yellow Pages and accessible through the AltaVista search engine.

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