WordCamp Europe’s continuing success has inspired other parts of the WordPress world to work towards getting their own regional camps off the ground. With a little help from WCEU mentors and inspiration from WordCamp Nordic’s proposal, WordCamp Asia is now officially on the schedule for February 21-23, 2020, in Bangkok, Thailand. WordCamp Central America is on deck to be the next new regional WordCamp with a proposal targeting 2020 for an inaugural event in Managua, Nicaragua.
Members of the Central American community began discussing the possibility of a larger event at the most recent WordCamp Managua 2019. For the past five years, Central America has been home to a growing number of local WordPress communities, with 12 meetups across five countries and a total of more than 4,000 participants as of July 2019. Meetup organizers have hosted more than 230 events since 2014, averaging four events per month.
In the working proposal, a document that was forked from the Nordic and Asian WordCamp proposals, organizers outlined why the timing is right for a regional camp in Central America:
The local WordPress communities have also experienced an exponential growth. In the last five years the local WordPress Meetup groups have increased fivefold. Moreover, the collaboration between the Central American communities is more active than ever; sharing experiences and resources, members attending events in neighboring countries, giving talks and volunteering in WordCamps.
This can be explained not only by the relative closeness of our countries, but also by the shared culture, values and identity of the Central American people.
We believe that hosting a Central American WordCamp will further strengthen the bonds between the local communities and give birth to new initiatives and collaborations between the local WordPress Meetup groups.
San José, Costa Rica, has the largest local WordPress community with more than 2,000 meetup members and 750 attendees at recent WordCamps. Managua, Nicaragua, the second largest community, was selected as the first host city due to its central location, direct flights from all major cities in the region, and wide availability of bus services. It is also one of the most affordable capital cities in the region and does not require visas for citizens of other Central American countries.
Organizers are planning a three-day event, beginning with Contributor Day, with four tracks during the main conference days. They are eyeing early October 2020 to avoid conflicts with other WordCamps that are frequently attended by the local community.
WordCamp Central America’s proposal has not yet been officially submitted but if it is approved, the event would be a strong addition to the region’s growing technology sector. It also has the potential to expand and amalgamate the local communities through shared knowledge and experience.