LISOL, the Latin American Festival of (Free and) Open Source Software Installation will be celebrated throughout Latin America and the Caribbean this Saturday, April 9th, 2011, typically between 0900 and 1800 hours (9 A.M. and 6 P.M. for Microsoft users), but you should check your local dates and times on the FLISOL website.
For the past months I have been receiving emails, tweets, Facebook event notices, and many other types of communication about this event, and it has been overwhelming. It is one thing when a large organization puts on an event, with sponsorship and money behind it, and it is another when passionate people band together to push forth an idea.
Many cities in every country of Latin America, including Cuba and the Dominican Republic, are banding together on April 9th to install Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and educate people on its use. Amazingly, Spain seems to have “jumped the pond” and is proudly organizing its own FLISOL meetings on the same day.
Sometimes the events are small, with the stress on installation, and sometimes the events are larger and include talks on various aspects of FOSS. Sometimes there are enough sponsors to offer pizza to people, but if not you can always bring your own pizza and share it!
Often the events offer the end user a choice of different distributions, including a “local” distribution that is tailored to the local community or local language.
Many times there is the addition of Free Culture along with Free Software, and the mingling of academic, artistic, business, governmental and social groups is encouraged.
As I look at the main website (in Spanish, but Google Translate is our friend), then click on the various countries and cities. I see names of people, some of whom I have met and others I feel that I would like to meet, but all passionate about helping others use FOSS.
If you have been thinking about FOSS, or are just disgusted with closed source software, take a few hours to investigate FLISOL. Better yet, back up the data on your system, and take your system to a FLISOL event to have FOSS installed.
If you would like to join in, it is not too late. If you know FOSS already, join to help, or even just talk to people. You may have so much fun that you will decide to put on a FLISOL event in your own city next year.
And to all of you who are working to make FLISOL a success, my admiration, thanks and best wishes.