Lets make something good out of this 'joke'

I normally don't jump into this kind of discussions because I'm ok with most of the reactions and I believe creating some random noise won't help. However, this time is different, this time it's hit something that I've been fighting for and something that I've committed myself to improve this year. If you still haven't figure it out, I'm indeed talking about the PSF's April Fools joke.

Why does this affect me?

In case you didn't know, I'm originally from Venezuela. I was born in Caracas and I grew up in that amazing but yet undeveloped country. It was not until I had lived there for 20 years that I decided to move to Italy. I'm sharing this because as a Latin American and as a person who has fought the tough fight of helping his own country, his own culture and his own region, I cannot just remain silent on this issue.

Just like Cuba, Venezuela and whole bunch of other American - yes the freaking continent is called America - countries are going through - and have been there for MANY years - a very tough economic, social and political process. These countries are considered undeveloped worldwide and that's a fight they've been fighting for ages.

I'm not going to "waste" this post explaining why these countries are undeveloped. I'm by no means a political expert and hell I know really few things about economics. However, I do want to tell you a story about how badly these countries need your help. Yes, your help.

It goes without saying that there's an infinite number of smart people living in these countries. Unfortunately, for these people, it's crazy hard to participate in amazing events like PyCon. I wish this issue would be just related to fundings but it's not. Sometimes it's also related to politics, language and culture. Many of these folks even have their visas negated... I mean...

Ever since I moved to Italy, I've been giving back to my country and the whole region, as much as I have been able to, in many different ways. I've flown there to conferences, I've translated material, I've flown there to give courses and made them available to others, I've mentored people and still, I feel I haven't done enough nor I will ever do.

Since I, by no means, think the PSF acted on bad faith, I'd like to take this chance to raise some awareness and, why not, make something good out of it.

Lets make this joke a reality

Do you know what's the thing I love the most from Europe? How easy it is to move around it. We, the tecnical community in Europe, have taken advantage of it and we've made something good for the community. Conferences like Europython bring in people from everywhere in Europe and I believe its sole goal is exactly that, allowing for this conference to move around the continent and make it easier for folks to participate in masses.

Last year, for the first time (AFAIK), PyCon happened outside the US. This year, just like last year, it'll happen in Montreal, CA. Since this seems to be something PyCon is willing to do, I'd like to propose a crazy idea.

Why don't we actually make PyCon a continent-wide conference? Or if it's so important to split the continent in half, why don't we create a Latin PyCon ?

I believe Latin America is big enough to make this happen and the PSF, with its amazing experience throughout these years, is in the right position to help Latin America with this tasks. Many of the Latin American countries organize their own, unofficial, non-PSF-funded, python conferences. Some of these conferences are big and others obviously aren't. Nonetheless, they all share the same goal.

Conference wise, enabling technology goes beyond just making huge conferences that "invite"/host many people. It's also about taking those conferences to places where such technology could be enabled.

So, what's your take on this?

I'll attend PyCon next week. If you think this is something you could/want to help with, I'm more than happy to share everything I know about Latin America, the conference life there and how we could make this happen.

Hi. I’m Flavio Percoco (a.k.a flaper87), and I’m a Software Engineer at Red Hat, where I spend my days working on OpenStack, speaking at conferences. In my spare time I contribute to Rust, write, read, surf, travel, smoke my coffee and drink my pipe.