The World Is Changing for the Better
These are some of the experiences in Santiago, Chile that confirm the strength and historical endurance of the movement of humanistic values, Christian passion for justice and peace.
2 nights ago I met with a group of women,leaders, from various community projects (housing, education, abused children, etc)in the southern neighborhoods of Santiago, Chile. Last week they finished a University course (designed especially for them) on computer technology. They told me about the processor, the motherboard, the hard drive. How to repair the fan, download audio drivers from the Internet.
Their vision is to install a small computer lab in the community center where they will teach other women, who, in their turn, will teach others. They will spend time this year learning Linux and open source software. They are: Martiza Alegria, Ana Rosa Rivera, Veronica Valenzuela, Gabriela Rivera, Marcela Rubro and Patricia Celis. They will start blogging about their experiences, and I’ll link to it here when they begin
Saturday and Sunday I attended the first Chilean “Open Community” conference. Twenty-somethings mingled with their older (in the minority)participants. This community is grounded in a philosophy of sharing and helping. This is probably hard to believe, but at several points during some of the workshops I held back tears when hearing very young persons describe their projects. Rodrigo RamÃrez says the open source idea led him to make new friends. His community of five (four boys and 1 girl) go to schools and public events to promote Linux and free software. They are crystal clear about their philosopy, the idea that “we can help each other, we can share.” He looks down, shakes his head, “It’s hard to find people who will listen.”
Next week, March 25, they participate in Installfest. On this one day,over 100 cities in Latin America, will install Linux and open software. Members of the open source community hold public events, or go door-to-door in their neighborhoold to install the software for those who want to “open up your hearts and your computers to a world of sharing and solidarity.”
I could go on and on. The spirit, the grand idea, is greater than any of us and thrives beyond institutional religion, beyond all institutons….while it enlivens them.