20th Feb

DrupalCon Latin America - Embracing Diversity

Latin America is a vast region and its 600 million inhabitants are a wonderful blend of multiple cultures. Seeking to bring DrupalCon to the most diverse public possible, the first DrupalCon in Latin America took place in Bogota, Colombia - close to the geographical center of the region.

Over 250 attendees came to the event from all corners of the world. From Latin America, there were representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, and Colombia, of course. There were also many attendees from North America, Europe, and even Asia.

What made this event unique was that this was the first DrupalCon where sessions were translated to multiple languages: English, Spanish, and Portuguese. In fact, the opening session made by Holly Ross, the executive director of the Drupal Association, was brilliantly performed in Spanish, which clearly demonstrates how passionate she is about spreading Drupal globally.

The DrupalCon sessions covered a wide range of topics and were divided into 6 tracks: Coding & Development, Front-end, Site Building, Case Studies, DevOps, Business, and Core Conversations. The two keynotes were from Dries Buytaert and Larry Garfield.

Dries' keynote highlighted how aggregation and personalization will play an ever more important role on the Web. Drupal is well positioned in this regard. With Web services and Guzzle now in core, each instance of Drupal will be able to aggregate data from disparate systems to deliver a personalized experience to its users.Drupal.org itself is being reinvented to serve different personas based on factors like the level and type of skills, location, and language. What that means is that users from Colombia, for example, should soon receive information from Drupal.org that is relevant to them, such as content in Spanish and a list of events happening close by. This will help Drupal to better serve a more diverse audience.

Larry's keynote drew attention to the importance of Drupal "getting off the island" and working together with other open source communities. This shift has brought a multitude of new people and ideas to the Drupal project. Larry also emphasized how Free and Open Source Software is essential for sustaining an ecosystem of startups that can collaborate and innovate. This levels the playing field and allows small businesses in Latin America and elsewhere to provide a high quality service to their clients.

The takeaway from this DrupalCon is about how our code and community are evolving. We are truly embracing diversity in all fronts: our code base is more integrated with other open source projects and our community is growing more diverse. Having a DrupalCon in Latin America has been an important step towards creating a global multi-cultural community. This will help generate new opportunities for everyone and help the Drupal project to reach an outstanding level of innovation.

We look forward to DrupalCon in India and we invite everyone in the community to embrace diversity to help create a better world!