“Good afternoon to all the women and a few men” – In front of an auditorium with over 500 women and a handful of men, this was the opening of the closing keynote of LATINITY, an event held on September 6 and 7 in San José, Costa. Rica
Latinity is a Latin American conference inspired by Grace Hopper Celebration, the largest conference that celebrates women in computing. In 2018, the event brought together more than 20,000 people from 78 countries. In the words of one of its creators: “Our event is like Grace Hopper (conference), but in Latin America, with our ‘Latin flavor’, our reality and problematic.”
LATINITY is described as ‘a place where technology-loving Latin American women meet.’ For 2 days participants learn, reflect, exchange experiences and technology-based proposals and have the opportunity to meet other Latin women who share them. interests.
“It is a space for presenting progress in our work, holding workshops, sharing research results, making friends, supporting each other as women in the Latin American region. It is a place to learn, teach, build and strengthen bonds of friendship and affection. It is also a space for critical analysis of the role of technology in our region from our own perspective and a place to propose solutions to the key challenges and risks we have identified in the digital society. It is a space for exchanges with leading women in the region on gender issues in Science, Technology, Art, Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM). ”
“We don’t want more women in technology to have more women in technology. We want more women in technology to have changes in technology. ” Kemly Camacho – Sula Batsú
The conference exists since 2015 and has already been hosted by Chile, Peru and Colombia. This year, the host country was Costa Rica, bringing the conference to Central America for the first time and with a record attendance of over 500, including 120 fellowship participants whose presence was funded entirely by various sponsors.
In every activity or in the large auditorium it was possible to see women from different countries, cultures and a lot of diversity. Although most of the participating women and girls were young, there were many scholars from rural Costa Rica, indigenous women, and peasant women. This exchange between women technologists and non-technologists is one of the pillars defended by the organization that hosted the event in Costa Rica; Sula Batsú.
“Women technologists should team up with non-tech women. With women in agriculture and indigenous women. Only in this way will we have a technology that reflects the reality of many women. ” – Kemly Camacho – Sula Batsú
Carla Jancz was invited by APC on behalf of Instituto Bem Estar Brasil to participate in two activities in partnership with Colnodo from Colombia:
- A multicultural panel on community networks to exchange experiences from Brazil, Colombia and Honduras
- A technical workshop about Mesh network and FUXICO, a Brazilian feminist autonomous network project that was translated into Spanish for this presentation
Both panels were very interesting and brought connection points between projects from different Latin countries. Participation in other workshops and presentations was also very enriching, where those present could learn about initiatives from Latin American countries such as Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
“There was a moment in the project that was very beautiful when Guatemalan rural indigenous women uploaded their stories to Wikipedia in their own language. We have 22 ethnic groups in Guatemala and 22 languages. “- Report on TICas project that develops works in the area of digital technologies and communication with girls and adolescents.
In our community networking panel, we were asked what we believe to be the most important thing in a project like this. We believe the answers presented can be shared:
- Formation and continuity: Setting up the network is just the first step.
- Flexibility: You can’t get into a community network project close-minded
- Strength of will: Hard Work and Resilience
“For me the most important thing about a community networking project is being flexible. Many times we were in a field training, empowering women to operate the equipment and we had to stop for the community to pray for rain. It was their custom and we had to respect it. Then the women thanked us, saying that we were the only outsiders who respected their customs. That was worth a lot. ” – Rádio Azacualpa – Honduras