A Guide to Crowdsourcing in Latin America

Crowdsourcing, also known as “mass collaboration,” allows anyone with an Internet connection to generate useful content for the masses. In Latin America, numerous crowdsourcing projects have arisen that respond to the various needs and emergencies that the continent is facing, such as Heroreports [en], which geotags acts of kindness in Mexico, or LluviasVe [en], which maps events caused by strong rains in Venezuela. Crowdsourcing has become a fundamental tool in Latin America to foment and utilize citizen participation in an effort to inform.

On January 14, 2012, Jacinto Lajas published “A guide to crowdsourcing in Latin America [es] on Periodismo Ciudadano, an online blog that hosts discussion and debate about citizen journalism. Below we have republished the article under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 3.0 Spain license (CC BY-NC 3.0).

Americas Society (AS) is the leading forum dedicated to education, debate, and dialogue in the Americas. Its mission is to foment understanding of current political, social, and economic issues that Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada are facing, as well as to augment public awareness of and appreciation for the diversity of the New World's cultural heritage and the importance of interrelationships between the diverse peoples of the Americas.

Within this mission falls the logical observation of changes effected by technological advances in the Americas, and in that same spirit comes the publication of a guide to crowdsourcing in Latin America, highlighting projects that have developed in different countries throughout the region.

The preface to the list of projects explains how crowdsourcing has become a popular method of citizen participation in compliance with the law, public health, consumer rights, and social issues in Latin America, one of the regions with the largest growth of Internet penetration in the world:

El número de usuarios de Internet creció a 112 millones en enero de 2011 –un aumento del 15 por ciento respecto al año anterior. En Brasil, Colombia, México y Venezuela, las tasas de crecimiento del uso de Internet aumentaron en un 20 por ciento o más durante el mismo período. También va en aumento es el uso del teléfono de última generación: en 2011, uno de cada cinco teléfonos celulares vendidos en América Latina fue un smartphone y, en 2010, las ventas de estos teléfonos en la región aumentaron en un 117 por ciento. Con un mayor acceso a Internet, más latinoamericanos están utilizando las redes sociales: 114.500.000 personas utilizaban sitios como Facebook y Twitter en junio de 2011.

The number of Internet users grew to 112 million in January 2011 -an increase of 15 percent over the previous year. In Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela, the growth rate of Internet use increased 20 percent or more during the same period. An increase in high-end telephone use also was observed: in 2011, one out of every five mobile phones sold in Latin America was a smartphone, and in 2010, sales of these telephones in the region grew by 117 percent. With such widespread access to the Internet, more Latin Americans are using social networks: 114.5 million people utilized websites such as Facebook and Twitter in June 2011.

A promising prospect. Just as the proliferation of participatory projects –some mentioned here [es]– is in Latin America. Below you will find the list of projects included in the guide. You can find more information about each project in the original publication in Americas Society [en].

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Stay up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details. Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site