EDINBURG — A few Latino students are getting free cell phones today. Why? Because Telcel, one of the best known cell phone service providers in Mexico, is now expanding to the U.S. And to kick off the launch, they are reaching out to their target market.
"It is easier for me to communicate with my mom and my dad, and sisters," said Jesus Capitanachi, UTPA Senior.
Capitanachi has family in Mexico, and now he will be able to call them for free.
"We are donating 75 phones, they are android smart phones with three months of unlimited air time to deserving students here at the university. And the call, not only will they receive unlimited calling in the United States including long distance. But also, they can call their loved ones and family and friends in Mexico, not just to land lines, but also to cell lines," said Joseph Ramirez, Marca PR Director.
And because of the escalating violence in Mexico, most students appreciate that direct line home.
"I need to know if my parents are alright. I know the security in Mexico is pretty bad right now, so it's important for me to get in touch with them every now and then," said Mariel Cantu, UTPA Senior.
But not every student on campus got a phone.
To qualify, students either had to be a low income student, have no cell phone on record, or be an international student.
It's a big help because even though Mexico is only 20 miles away from the University, calling across any border can mean high price fees.
"It's very expensive, the company I am with, they charge a lot per month," said Capitanachi.
After the three months, students can decide to keep the phone or get rid of it. But either way, they have free cell phone access through Tele for the next three months.