Latinos do have a presence in the online social world, and many US Hispanic bloggers and national organizations were recognized for their effort in representing the best of the best. Among the winners, there was me. Woohoo!
To be recognized as Best Latin Tech Blogger at the 2011 LATISM Conference brought me lots of joy and happiness I have not had in many years. With 3+ years of blogging here on ElMundoTech, almost one year contributing with Impre.com’s Piensa Digital (thanks to Jesús del Toro), some months with WiredLatinos.com (thanks to Irene Martinez-Audet, brb soon), and writing for a weekly newspaper on-and-off for 3 years since 2006 thanks to Rubén Funes (former editor of La Prensa Orlando), I feel so proud about this accomplishment.
Though it’s already late to show this to my father, (he passed away years ago) I do have to thank him for the old days in which we used to sit next to each other to read the newspaper every day during my elementary school days in Lima, Peru. We would not put the newspaper down until we got to read the most interesting news and got to complete most of the 1-page-long crossword puzzle. Had he seen me receiving this award, my dad would have been very proud. He would not bite my ear again (see picture), that’s for sure. After I received the award and went back to my table, the first thing that came to my mind was “Gracias, papá.” I could not avoid a few tears.
Also, as a person who experienced epilepsy since the young age of 3 due to a fall from a stair, I understand how difficult life has been for others with a disability. In the 1970s and 80s and most of the 90s (during the early years of the Internet), it wasn’t easy for people to refer others with reliable information, much less for someone like me to have a voice. Many people did not know anything about epilepsy. That was then, but even today most people may not have a firm or concrete idea. At least we’re all now a click away, and people now can have a voice online, which makes me so proud about what Laurita Tellado is doing with HoldinOutForAHero.com and the Spina Bifida community in Central Florida (¡Hola Laurita y felicitaciones!). Laurita got the Best Latin Health Blogger award! Btw, having graduated from high school and college was not easy at all, yet having worked with students with disabilities (all very knowledgeable about videogames) as a substitute teacher has been an honor and a personal goal to show others that they can finish college or anything else they choose that follows high school.
I’d like to thank everyone at LATISM for letting me do two WordPress 101 workshops, and for the great opportunity to meet awesome and devoted people. I must say “gracias” to Ana Roca-Castro, Elianne Ramos, Reina Valenzuela, Sylvia Aguilera, bloggers, organizations, sponsors, and the rest of the LATISM family for making the conference an excellent event. Thanks to everyone who voted for me as well. Like my dad used to say: “¡Arriba!”