by Yosley Carrero
HAVANA, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Cuban entrepreneur Adriana Lopez, who provides catering services in the Havana district of Playa, has found in e-commerce a way to increase her business operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 38-year-old woman told Xinhua that she had seen a more than 40-percent uplift in customers' orders since she started to sell her buffets online.
Aside from spending nearly six hours a day preparing dinner and birthday party buffets in her kitchen, she spends some time interacting with her clients online.
"I have now expanded my business outside Havana," she said. "Through digital platforms, I can get more direct feedback from my work."
Like Lopez, thousands of people have benefited from the expanded Internet services across the country during the sanitary emergency.
Elsewhere in the city, Milena Rodriguez, who used to teach English in person before the pandemic, now does it through social media groups.
"Nothing replaces the direct contact between teachers and students, but the COVID-19 crisis has forced us to be resourceful," she said.
At present, over 7 million out of the country's 11 million residents access the mobile Internet service, according to statistics released by ETECSA, the state-owned Telecommunications Company of Cuba.
In addition, during the pandemic, the Cuban government has given priority to e-commerce in an effort to avoid social gatherings and long queues outside stores and supermarkets.
Adolfo Martinez, deputy president of ETECSA, told Xinhua that home Internet service would continue to increase on the island in 2022.
"We are analyzing solutions that help us move forward towards technological sovereignty amid the U.S. blockade," he said, adding that "the online connectivity of the entrepreneurial sector is also a paramount priority."
Meanwhile, Havana resident Mario Diaz, 70, said that he could video chat with his sons living overseas thanks to Internet.
"Internet is an integral part of the development of nations," he said. "Technologies make life easier."