Guatemalan Emergency Relay

11 Sustainable cities and communities
  • Year: 2010
  • Award: World Summit Award
  • Category: Inclusion & Empowerment
  • Producer: TECH4MOBILE
  • Country: Guatemala
  • URL:

The Guatemalan Emergency Relay helps reach remote communities in Guatemala at a very low cost, in seconds, using any cell phone. It connects a community by sharing critical information via SMS, integrated with a web-enabled system. In case of emergency, authorized users post information on the website (max. 160 characters per page, with the possibility of linking more pages).

The entire community can access the information using any cell phone, by sending an SMS with the CODE assigned to that specific community and a short number. The information can be updated as it is needed, keeping everyone in the community on top of developments.

The Guatemalan Emergency Relay service is in use in many schools to coordinate activities between students and parents, and has even been helpful to the governmental emergency coordinating agency (Conred). When natural disasters hit, such as flooding, the Guatemalan Emergency Relay has proven to be crucial to emergency rescue in areas where there is practically no phone connection other than cell phones.