TechCamp Goes to Montevideo – Technology for a Civil Society

Why do people increasingly call this country Tech Hub Uruguay? A big reason is the educated populace, including Uruguay providing a free laptop to every schoolchild.

Uruguayay schoolchilderen at their desks with their OLPC computers.
Uruguay – first country in the world with 100% coverage by the One Laptop Per Child initiative, implemented in Uruguay as “Plan Ceibal”.

Sometimes Uruguay goes even further. About two years ago, Uruguay was the host country for a USA-sponsored initiative, a series of “Tech Camps” promoting technology for a civil society. We were in the process of our initial move to Uruguay back then, during our 2-month Uruguay Test Drive, so didn’t catch this story at the time: TechCamp Goes to Montevideo, Uruguay | US State Department – USA-Uruguay cooperation on technology education for our hemisphere.

Hosted in partnership with the Government of Uruguay — whose sponsorship of laptops for youths has seen amazing success for education among children in the country — TechCamp provided an opportunity for participants to interact with expert technologists through a series of training sessions and small group discussions.

Uruguay wasn’t chosen because it needs to develop a civil society. It wasn’t chosen because it needs to educate its population on technology. The US Department of State, under Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State for the Obama Administration, chose Uruguay as a host country because Uruguay already is a leader in technology for a civil society. Continue reading TechCamp Goes to Montevideo – Technology for a Civil Society

The Uruguay Way: Union College students experience Uruguay

The Uruguay Way: Exploring the implementation of One Laptop Per Child. Some Union College (NYC) students are having a fascinating time here in Uruguay on an exchange program. Much of their studies focusing on this country being the country first fully to implement the One Laptop Per Child program.

Graffiti image of a mushroom-shaped
Montevideo Graffito. Photo credit Samantha Muritori, one of the Union College students on this exchange program. Copyright © 2013 Concordiensis and the photographer.

Also they’re exploring the area, of course, and taking in the lifestyle and sights. Yes, much of our graffiti is in fact artistic. Though as an ex-New Yorker, I have to say a lot of that is too. (Not necessarily all the “tagging” on the A-train back in the 80’s, though!)

There are some LOL moments in reading the college newspaper report, Continue reading The Uruguay Way: Union College students experience Uruguay

Afro-Uruguay: Forward Together – Video

Here is 5 minutes of the work in progress film, Afro-Uruguay: Forward Together, which I talked about in my previous post tonight. After the film, some thoughts and re-watch suggestions to learn more about both the issue at hand, and everyday sights and sounds of Uruguay. Including our very weird Spanish.

Pamela Harris & Carolina De Robertis | Iris Films present a “work in progress” five minute preview of “Afro-Uruguay: Forward Together”

As you watch it, please think about the culture and history that was suppressed. Lisa and I are gratified that Candombe is becoming a vehicle for recovering the rich Afro-Uruguayo culture, and in making Uruguayans and those like us new to our adopted land understand and confront past-times and current day racism and discrimination.

Then, perhaps, watch it again, and listen closely too, Continue reading Afro-Uruguay: Forward Together – Video