Talks about Wikipedia (Cochabamba, Bolivia)

Salón de Estrategia
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Courriel wikimedistas(_AT_)

Strategy 2030Edit

Resources: Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20
Spanish version: Tertulia sobre Wikipedia (Cochabamba, Bolivia)
In order to imagine the future of free knowledge in the framework of the Wikimedia 2030 process, the Bolivian community of Wikimedia met in a strategy room held in Cochabamba, 17th August, 2019.

17th August meetingEdit

  • Place: Martadero
  • Time : 9 AM to 13 PM


  • Caleidoscopic
  • Angela Medina Pacheco
  • Ivan Camacho Medrano
  • Daniela Villariel Atahuach
  • Micaela Bustos Flores
  • Oswald Axel Pérez Condori
  • Sara Aliendre Del Barco
  • Alejandro Ayara Martínez
  • Vanett Graneros

The meetingEdit

The objective of the gathering was the exchange of ideas on the Wikipedia edition in Bolivia, focused on two thematic areas within the framework of the strategic direction of the Wikimedia movement, Diversity, & Community Health.

Discussion pointsEdit

Main questions that guided the discussion:

  • 'P1' - How do we consolidate the Wikipedia community of Cochabamba?
  • 'P2' - How have we built community and what challenges exist?
  • 'P3' - How can the foundation collaborate with the consolidation of our community?

About the first questionEdit

The Wikimedia community of Cochabamba has been created from a community of students from the Universidad Mayor de San Simón and supported by a research group made up of these same students.

The Community has received the initial support and impulse from Architect Patricia Dueri, promoter of WLM 2013 and 2018 in Bolivia, currently working autonomously conducting research.

The community has collaborated mainly with contributions in Wikimedia Commons, currently they require space and support to develop experience in the edition of Wikipedia.

About the second questionEdit

The community has been built with a common point and is the interest in research. Visits to different regions throughout the country are made carrying out research projects that include photographic records, interviews, search for local reference books.

It is questioned that the references that could be considered reliable about Bolivia's culture are mainly European, so there may be a bias related to the lack of contextualization of these customs in local daily practice and the possible misunderstanding and tendency to exoticization without an approximation of same or with interest of intercultural dialogue.

About the third questionEdit

Definition of work models that consolidate the impact of the project on material inputs; Publications derived works, educational material, books.

Definition of work models that consolidate the contemporary generation of reliable sources; publications derived works, educational material, books resulting from local research.

To doEdit

The community points out that despite there being a discourse on respect for local traditions and cultures, there are not too many reliable local sources available, they refer to the case of a book that only had two editions and each one with a print run of less than 1000 copies.

The need to learn languages ​​from Bolivia other than Spanish, particularly Quechua in the Cochabamba region, since discrimination processes and state policies focused on Spanish literacy have caused a generational and regional gap between the inhabitants of the region. Grandparents or neighbors of surrounding communities maintain Quechua as their main language, and urban and young inhabitants have Spanish as their mother tongue, surviving Quechua expressions or structures in vocabulary but preventing fluid communication.

The group has conducted research on events such as: The feast of the ñatitas, the relationship of life and death rituals in Bolivian culture, funerary spaces and their heritage value.

Other points of interest:

  • The bad reputation of Wikipedia among the school and university teaching community, as opposed to valuation, since the idea that it is not academically well regarded is well established, even if it is used as initial access to different topics
  • The need to create personalization interfaces on Wikipedia and sister projects, focused on appearance, kindness, gamification and simplification of processes.
  • The need to relate Wiki projects with previous and derivative products in order to make the usefulness and real potential of this type of collaborative constructions vsisble
  • The need to make visible the immediate benefits of collective knowledge construction "Wikipedia beyond the screen"
  • The local collective refers to cases where local authorities made reparation works in the Cemetery of Potosí after the publication of images of the state in which it was located, many of them were uploaded to Commons, this model can inspire other projects of alliance or link between digital and material noticeable by the community immediately.
  • Need for discussion and development of policies aimed at valuing photographic records as reliable sources.
  • Need for support with alliances and institutional support, currently the group is self-financing or tedious efforts in different cities and with different levels of government to get financial and logistical support.
  • Need for advice with the use of licenses and more convenient platforms for the publication of research.
  • The collective shares and is its main alignment the construction of free knowledge, mainly focused on a deep and questioning look at the dominant discourses that emphasize the form and not the historical processes and transversal influences.
  • The group identified the benefits of making materially visible the incidences of the collaborative construction of knowledge.
  • As a local community of Cochabamba publishers, it is necessary to have knowledge of Bolivian languages ​​such as Quechua to improve our approaches and make, for example, photographic records in a participatory framework and not to photograph "objects of study".
  • As editors of Bolivia it is necessary to generate more contemporary and audiovisual products as derivatives of the Wiki and as a retribution to project participants, these materials should be translated into Bolivian languages.
  • As Wikimedistas de Bolivia we are able to produce dissemination materials for products derived from the Wiki that exemplify and make tangible the impact of Free Knowledge, and we require clear guidelines and criteria from the foundation to carry it out.
  • As a collective of Wikikmedistas from Bolivia it would be helpful to have documentary notes or backings that are worth our work as part of an international community, or from the Foundation to facilitate efforts and shorten management time and expenses for projects.
  • The community identified the benefits of free knowledge as "a pyramid structure of benefits"
  • need to have material on projects, platforms and documents of the movement and the foundation at least in Spanish and with features that allow for simple printing and dissemination, beyond the monitor and permanent internet connection


  • Given the circumstances, efforts aimed to build community are hard. Notability and access to references affects in a negative way, as analysed in the other points. Better opening times in libraries would help.
  • There are living cultural practises among Bolivian people that are regarded as an "anthropological souvenir" in the most shared bibliography.
  • Proposal: there are young people who makes investigations without funding. Resources should be found.
  • Projects with aymara and quéchua communities have been done, but a language barrier exists (not everybody speaks Spanish and not everybody is able to use the formal written form of the language) besides of digital gap.
  • While this gap exists, bridges have to be built. It was suggested to search for bilingual people to train in Wikipedia. It was suggested that one for he young people there should learn quéchua.
  • Online editors are not willing to do offline activities. Offline allied people need CB.
  • Those of us who started with code editor believe that the visual editor is very simple, but it is not so much. In addition, we started editing at a time when there were fewer template patrolers/deletionists.
  • In Bolivia especially, people are shy to edit. The approach from the local affiliate is no different from that of other countries, but there are greater barriers. There is a tradition of consumer internet, not of generating content.
  • One-day workshops do not retain publishers.
Conclusion: to grow more work and time is needed. That the projects are socializable. Apply the WLM model in Bolivia, work with researchers.
That means:
  • Work sources (not available!)
  • Work the content (be bold!)
  • Give visibility to Wikipedia in less orthodox environments (for example, market places).
  • Alliances with institutions are important, physical spaces in each city would be great.
  • We have assisted people willing to edit, but there are logistical costs and community needs for physical and tangible things (physical place of editing, for example).
  • A more visual and adequate swing interface has been proposed as an adaptation to the reality of the country, as an intermediate step between the editor and the wiki.
  • "The academic" (both topics and approach) is not attractive to young people. Wikipedia is not inclusive enough for certain profiles to feel at ease.
  • Indigenous communities tend to emphasize that the people in their community can be an engineer, but despise those who play traditional roles, such as hunters. New invisibility.
  • Allying a lot with the government can rise suspicions about how independent the local affiliate is.