In Wikimedia México, we have had success partnering with groups and initiatives that share our values of freedom and the commons. One of those initiatives is Procommons Mexico Lab, a project supported by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), where our member Alan Lazalde works.
Recently, we developed the idea to conduct an editathon at the Spanish Cultural Center in México, and we welcomed the cooperation of Wikimedia España as our partner in the first editing marathon between two Spanish-speaking countries. This was also an important demonstration of work between members of Iberocoop — an initiative of Wikimedia chapters that share Iberoamerican cultural heritage. The members of the Mexican and Spanish Wikimedia chapters had already talked months ago about doing common projects because of our shared history.
For the members of the Mexico chapter, we had the opportunity to conduct the event at the Spanish Cultural Center in México, an epicenter of cultural activities in Mexico City. I contacted María Sefidari and Santiago Navarro, both members of Wikimedia España, and through our respective channels of communication and social media, we publicized the event to gain more participants, both in person in Mexico and remotely from people’s homes in Spain.
On Sunday, November 18th, at 10 am, María gave a short greeting vía Skype, and then editors from Wikimedia México and the student club Wikimedia Amoxcalli started writing about topics related to the Spanish Cultural Center in México, adding more information and updating what was already existing on the Spanish Wikipedia. We also wrote about its museum, cultural offices and programs.
Throughout the day, we worked on other topics related to Spain and Mexico: the Knife rebellion, which happened before the War of Independence between both countries; the Spanish soldier Torcuato Trujillo; contemporary artists like María La Ribot and Magda Donato; and the Spanish Ateneum of México. There was also a translation of a new article to the French Wikipedia by El Caro, and several to Catalan Wikipedia, thanks to GLAM promotor Àlex Hinojo and also to Gustavo Góngora writing from Catalonia.
We coordinated via the IRC channels of both chapters, and kept updating our progress on Facebook and on Twitter with the hashtag #EditMXES. In all, we had event participants in México at the venue and in Guadalajara; participants in Spain from Barcelona, Ferrol, La Seu, Madrid, Palencia, Vila-real and Zamora; and we were joined by the coordinator of Wikimedia Colombia from Bogotá .
By 4 pm, when we ended the editathon, we had written 18 new articles and expanded two more on Spanish Wikipedia. Plus we added seven new articles on Catalan Wikipedia and one new article on French Wikipedia. What had started as an initiative between Wikimedia México and the AECID resulted in a wider collaboration between many countries. We hope to hold more events like this soon.
Iván Martínez, President of Wikimedia México
Translation to English by María Sefidari and translation to Catalan by Santiago Navarro