BlogDay 2006 in Latin America

On August 31 bloggers around the world tried to make the planet a tad smaller, a wee bit more familiar, by introducing five new blogs to their readers. Here is a look at how some Latin American bloggers chose to celebrate the day.

Let's start in Mexico where Ricardo Carréon, General Manager of Latin America for Intel, has an eclectic mix of recommendations including the popular citizen journalism blog, EBRMx (ES) and Ellen Fields’ Mexico-in-English (ES), which regularly highlights websites and blogs about Mexico written in English. On Blog Day, however, Fields chose to step outside of Mexico's blogosphere and find “five English-language blogs from other countries where Spanish is the spoken language.” One of those five bloggers is Panamanian food blogger Melissa de León:

Here's a tasty blog from Panama: Cooking Diva. This woman, Melissa de Leon, is originally from Panama. She is full of energy…my goodness! Her blog is chock full of recipes, reports of events in Panama and even videos! Just writing her blog seems to me like it would be a full-time job, but on top of that she offers a Pre-prepared Dinners of the Week program in Panama, a Corporate Culinary team building program, gives cooking classes and does food product development. I'm impressed. Again, her blog presents a maze of information that any foodie will enjoying getting lost in.

You can find out more about Melissa de León by checking out her own Blog Day post where she answers questions put forth by Rebecca MacKinnon. Alejandro, a Peruvian-Californian food blogger was inspired by Melissa and answered the same questions.

Also from Panama, Antonio Touriño of Stranger with Candy is a day late and three blogs short, but still takes the time to introduce his readers to Ze Frank's The Show and Rantings of a Sandmonkey from Cairo, Egypt. Touriño wasn't the only Latin American to link to an Arab blogger. Venezuelan Iria Puyosa of Rulemanes para Telémaco also used the occasion to construct a digital bridge between the Middle East and the Spanish-speaking blogosphere (ES):

Una joven mujer de clase media alta ha venido relatando el día a día de Bagdad, desde el inicio de la ocupación en 2003. Las notas de Baghdad Burning han sido editadas como libro y le valieron a su autora, Riverbend, el premio Samuel Johnson 2006 al mejor libro de no-ficción que otorga BBC Four. Desde septiembre 2004, un grupo de bitacoristas españoles ha venido traduciendo las notas de Riverbend en Bagdad en llamas.

A young, upper-middle class woman has been relating the day to day life of Baghdad since the beginning of the occupation in 2003. The posts of Baghdad Burning have been published as book and the author, Riverbend, was awarded the Samuel Johnson 2006 prize by BBC Four for the best nonfiction book. Since September 2004, a group of Spanish bloggers has been translating posts from Riverbend at Bagdad en llamas (ES).

Se me ocurrió que una buena opción de navegación para este día es acercarnos a la bitosfera iraquí. Global Voices es un buen lugar para iniciar esa exploración. El puente hacia la bitosfera iraquí es trabajo de Salam Adil (quien en verdad no se llama Salam Adil), un hombre de negocios de origen iraquí residenciado en Londres, desde donde escribe Asterism. Salam Adil también participa en el equipo de Iraq Blog Count. GV ofrece enlaces especialmente valiosos para quienes se interesan en un sector de Irak siempre marginado: los kurdos. Deborah Ann Dilley reporta sobre lo que ocurre en la bitosfera kurda y es una de las promotoras del proyecto Kurdistan Blog Count. Para los panas que sólo leen en español, una buena opción para información alternativa sobre Irak es Kuro-Shang, una bitácora de información política internacional (progre) escrita desde Chile.

It occurred to me that a good choice of navigation for this day is to get us closer to the Iraqi blogosphere. Global Voices is a good place to start that exploration. The bridge towards the Iraqi blogosphere is the work of Salam Adil (who really isn't named Salam Adil), a businessman of Iraqi origin residing in London, from where he writes Asterism. Salam Adil also participates on the team of Iraq Blog Count (ES). GV offers links that are especially valuable for those interested in a sector of Iraq always marginalized: the Kurds. Deborah Ann Dilley reports about what happens in the Kurdish blogosphere and is one of the developers of the project Kurdistan Blog Count. For those of you who only read in Spanish, a good option for alternative information about Iraq is Kuro-Shang (ES), a (progressive) blog of international politics written from Chile.

Speaking of Chile, Claurio Ruiz of Quemar Las Naves celebrated Blogday 2006 despite himself:

Siguiendo la tradición (?), y a pesar que lo encuentro bastante mamón y rosa, este año también destacaré nuevos blogs sólo porque tengo la necesidad de compartir espectaculares blogs que descubrí este año.

Following the tradition (?), and despite finding it childlike, this year I will again highlight new blogs only because I have the necessity of sharing spectacular blogs that I discovered this year.

Those blogs include the always formidable La Petite Claudine (ES) from Spain, the law geek blog Saber leyes no es saber derecho (ES) (“To know the legal code is not to know law”), and one of my own favorites, the anti-blog Gente Rubia que bebe martinis en la piscina (ES) (“Blonde people that drink martinis in the swimming pool”).

Across the border to Argentina, where Mariano Amartino reminds readers (ES) that the purpose of Blogday is to introduce five new weblogs and then, overwhelmed by blog-love, links to nine. Of Un Argentino en japón (ES), Amartino writes, “a BRILLIANT blog to discover things that no one tells us about the culture of Japan.” Fellow Buenos Aires resident, Robert Wright offers his own worldly and eclectic mix of recommendations. Among them:

World news • Leaps ahead of any news agency, Global Voices has managed to put a local face on every important world event since their inception. Using bloggers as a resource, they manage to compile an amazing directory of local opinions on global issues. Bored? Pick a country & read what the real current issues are… not what CNN decides to tell you.

Oops, was that boasting? Time to move on …

Colombian gastronome Diva suggests (ES), among others:

El Blog de Santiago Roncagliolo; el autor más jóven que haya sido galardonado con el premio Alfaguara (y es peruano) por su libro Abril rojo, nos muestra su día a día, sus viajes, aventuras y desventuras en este blog que se vuelve realmente, adictivo. Además, es lindo… muy lindo el chico. jejeje

The Blog of Santiago Roncagliolo (ES); The youngest author to have been awarded the Alfaguara prize (and he's Peruvian) for his book Red April, he shows us his daily life, his trips, adventures and misadventures in this blog that really becomes addictive. Furthermore, the boy is lovely … very lovely. hehehe.

Bridge-blogger, translator, and BlogHer contributor Liz Henry chose to celebrate Blogday by “looking for blogs in Latin American countries I haven't blogged about before. Bolivia, Nicaragua, Paraguay. I also want to find and highlight some blogs written in indigenous languages in Latin American countries.” Unfortunately, she comes to the oft-verified conclusion that the first blogger whose native tongue is either Quechua, Aymara, or Guaraní has yet to arrive. She does, however, make special mention of Habla Quechua (ES, QUH) by lawyer and linguist Noemi Vizcardo Rojas of Lima.

It was in Peru, in fact, where the most noticeable celebration of BlogDay (ES) took place. On Thursday, August 31, a group of Peruvian bloggers met at Instituto San Ignacio de Loyola to discuss a variety of issues. It's out of the context of this post to summarize the interesting conversations and debates inspired by the presentations, but here's a look at the agenda (ES) thanks to Cesar Soplin Sánchez:

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