Squeakfest in Montevideo has started today at 7:30 pm. We are in Aula Magna of the Catholic University in Montevideo, a verynice room, it actually looks like a church (and probably is). There are about 100 people in the room at this opening night. Many more are expected tomorrow, when participants from other parts of the country wil arrive.
Mariana Herrera, who organized the conference, opened it at 7:30, then MSc. Ing. Catalina Fellaggiwelcomed us at the university. I was the first to give my welcome speech, which main objective was to thank Mariana for all the work she did to make this happen. Valentina, a 17-year-old friend of Mariana translated my talk, she is really amazing! Then Enrique Verdes from the Uruguayan Linux User Group talked about the importance and possibilities of free software. Finally, Monica Baez from Plan Ceibal welcomed everyone and talked about the importance of educating the children for the technological age. All these organizations supported Squeakfest and helped tomake it happen.
I already met several people, Lino Bessonart, who will conduct the Etoys workshops tomorrow and on Saturday. Ricardo Moran, Gonzalo Zabala and the whole group of "Physical Etoys" are here. After 2 years, I met Marta Voelcker from Porto Alegre again. Right now, she is talking about "Education, Technology and Skills of the 21st Century". Fortunately, she gave me an overview of her talk before, because she is speaking Portuguese. This is very similar to Spanish, so the participants will understand it. Her talk will set the broader context for the then following focus on Etoys.
The conference is supposed to end today around 9:30 pm. Then we will go to dinner, which I have learned is the usual time people in Uruguay go out to eat. But probably I'll stay some time longer and try out the internet connection for the online talks that are planned for tomorrow.