The Maya are one of the most important indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica, living in modern-day southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. At the beginning of the 21st century, their estimated population is seven million, of which 1.6 million live in Mexico, making them the second largest indigenous people of Mexico.
From June 25 to 29, our volunteers Claudia and Luis gave several talks and workshops in Mérida, State of Yucatán, about Wikipedia, its philosophy and use. The attendees were thrilled to contribute with articles about Maya culture, notable people of Mayan descent, food, music, history and geography.
The workshop is also part of a series of activities by Centro de Cultura Digital (Center for Digital Culture) looking to create content and preserve the Mayan language, as well as to invite communities to work together in a collaborative space.
Poster in Mayan, announcing the event
Some of the participants
Translating EN-YUA in TranslateWiki
An article about the huipil, a traditional garment
Claudia lent her laptop to help people edit
Final photo of the editing group
GLAM in Aldea Digital
Aldea Digital is an event held yearly in Mexico City dedicated to bridging the technological gap still present in Mexico, as well as encouraging experienced users to network and start new projects. This year, Wikimedia Mexico was invited to speak about the connections between Art and Technology, present in the Wikipedian in Residence program in general (and the WiR program at w:Museo Soumaya in particular).
From June 15 to August 5 we gave several workshops, demystifying Wikipedia and showing people how it works, hoping to abolish several myths ("Wikipedia is not reliable, its information is most likely false...") and inspiring them to edit, to share their knowledge just as someone else shared with them. Through our talks, we showed our visitors how everyone can contribute in their areas of expertise, completely independent of a formal academical degree. This point in particular was of great interest, as many people confided us that they had never seen themselves as experts, much less as someone who could contribute to the Encyclopedia.
In this particular instance we decided not to create new accounts for every visitor, as we had around 30 new visitors per visit and we risked being IP blocked. Instead, we directed the most enthusiastic users to attend our monthly workshop, where they learned more about Creative Commons licenses and how open projects like Wikimedia work with the efforts of volunteers like them.
Room 24 of Aldea Digital
One of the slides used in the Wikipedia Workshops during Aldea Digital 2016
One of our volunteers giving a talk about Wikipedia and its correct usage
A total of 436 people were introduced to Wikipedia and its usage, more than half of which were students between the ages of 10 to 20. A few of them even attended our monthly workshop held on July 30, interested in strengthening their understanding of the Wikimedia projects. Some others were curious and eager for Wikimedia to speak at their schools and workplaces. We hope to see these new faces around for some time!
Wow, I want to congratulate you guys/girls for this commendable ventures, especially with regards to advancing wiki-literacy in Mayan language and other Mayan community projects! Now that is an achievement, keep it up! Basque regards --Iñaki LL (talk) 09:44, 10 August 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you very much! We're looking forward to hosting more events to grow yua.wiki --Andycyca (talk)
Thanks a lot! Will Wikimedia Mexico still be busy in August 2016? Come back next month to find out --Andycyca (talk)
Sorry to hear about your problems with IP throttles and mediawiki making it difficult to do outreach. There is a solution specced on phabricator we just need to lobby the WMF to put resources into it. At the moment it is still held up through a combination of "not invented here", and some people not seeing Outreach as worthy of programmer time. It would help if Wikimedia Mexico were to request the WMF invest in the event organiser's userrightWereSpielChequers (talk) 22:23, 10 August 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I confess to being a Phabricator newbie, but it looks like an amazing idea for me! I may be able to ask WMMX to weigh in this issue, as it's often a headache for us. Thanks a lot! --Andycyca (talk) 22:48, 22 August 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]