A family in the Sierra de Madrid

At WordCamp Torrelodones I have experienced many emotions this past weekend. How much joy and energy I’ve found in a group I didn’t know: A WordPress family in the Sierra de Madrid.

When you meet a WordPress group and enjoy their WordCamp you realize that for obvious reasons we share many things with the type of event: Talks, contributor day, sponsors.

But scratching the surface you realize that each family leaves its mark. Your personal brand of the love you put into hosting your WordPress party.

When I saw the whole proposal for speakers, where they also wanted to focus on the theme of family reconciliation, I was convinced for that reason alone.

Ana Cirujano at the opening of WCTorrelodones
Opening of the WCTorrelodones

I recognize that the friendship with Ana Cirujano, a person I admire and respect a lot and with whom I have had fun hundreds of times, in different WordPress parties, was more than enough to make me want to sign up and participate.

Ana is one of the most well-known and active designers in the ecosystem. In addition to being charming, she is a tireless worker who always strives for the highest quality in everything she does. I expected nothing less from this event.

I am very proud that my talk has been selected, as I have already explained in other posts. For me, and I am sure, for many WC speakers, the selection of your talk is a source of pride and satisfaction.

So I made a proposal, making an analogy between SEO and cooking, and I start organizing my trip. I wanted to take my son Suyán because of this orientation towards family reconciliation.

I was excited to participate in the toy library (coordinated by Marta Arribas). For logistical reasons involving a seven-hour drive from Galicia, I don’t think he would have enjoyed it as much (he is five years old).

Jose Luis Losada WordPress
Breakfast of champions for a long journey

So I looked for my traveling companion: José Luis Losada and we went straight to the hotel. A long road, with very good conversations. We have a long history of travel to WordCamps. A “Thelma and Louise” type trip without going off the cliff 😉

There were other reasons why I wanted to participate in this event. I wanted for example to meet Estela Rueda and Ohia, two friends that I have been seeing for months in Zoom meetings, organizing the community team of the WordCamp Europe that will be held this year (2023) in Athens.

On Friday, hugs, hugs, hugs to so many people I had not seen for so long. Being able to meet Lidia Marbán was something that made me very happy 😇

In some online events I had been put in contact with her because we shared a curious career: archeology and we are both currently involved in this digital world.

I have to say that Lidia’s mails as the person in charge of the Torrelodones WC team were simply fantastic.

I laughed as much as I could with their e-mails, because they transmitted a lot of sincerity and closeness; always trying to help all the speakers in each of the steps.

Thank you Lidia and Áxel (your son), it was a real pleasure to meet you.

WCTorre Volunteer Dinner
A wonderful dinner of volunteers, sponsors, organization and speakers. In the photo with old and new friends 😉

As a WC organizer, I see these events differently. I pay attention to details that I know are behind, many hours of work and love that any organization team puts in.

And frankly, hats off to this team. Everything was perfect, from the food, the web content, sponsors, the balanced and entertaining program, design, the Wapuu (Fantastic job Raul Hermoso!).

The volunteers were very well coordinated and took care of all the details, it was a pleasure to work with them. Thank you Helen Moreno who also helped us so much in our Pontevedra WC.

A big applause to the rest of the organization team, I was delighted to be able to meet Carlota Galván, Arantxa Sáenz. Great as always my good friend Jaime Gármar, a machine in everything he does, always with good vibes and affection. Ana Gavilán, a locomotive that is behind almost all the WordCamps in Spain lately.

And to the rest of the organization team, with whom I could not talk quietly: Óscar Pérez, Sergio Álvarez, Manuel Moreno, Javier Salinas, Yolanda Larrumbide, Matilde Cuadro, Eduardo Tornos, THANK YOU.

WCTorre organization team and volunteers
WCTorre organization team and volunteers. Photo by Nilo Vélez

Program and lectures

I know it is very difficult to create a balanced program. You try to give priority to local speakers, gender equality, attractive and entertaining presentations, balance of topics.

I have always commented that for me one of the most complex (and ungrateful) things about a WordCamp.

The talks I was able to see, I loved. They are all available on WordPress TV.

I will not mention them all but I would like to highlight: Vanesa Gómez del Río: “Emprender con WordPress para recorrer el mundo con dos peques”. Beautiful talk, very inspiring. I admire Vanessa’s work a lot (I am a big fan of Exprime Viajes) and I have always told her so. It was also nice to meet Carla and Martin 🥰.

Lucia and SEO
Lucía and SEO. Photo by Nilo Vélez

Lucia and SEO, Fantastic! I loved how she explained the whole concept of EATT (so relevant to SEO) in a clear and fun way. If you want to understand what EATT is and how to improve your content, this is a video you should not miss.

Interesting article by Carlos García del Real, taking more advantage of the Firefox and Chrome inspector in the development of web pages.

I was excited to hear Sofia Calle Prieto‘s talk, an SEO consultant that we share community(Sin Oficina) and I had not been able to meet. He gave us a talk on the value of informative search intent in an online store.

My good friend Sabela Muñiz, with her creative talks, making an analogy between “lume” (Tinder) and the content of your web pages with your clients.

Pablo Moratinos
Pablo Moratinos

The great Pablo Moratinos who, as always, fascinated us with his masterful way of explaining things: entertaining and fun to the max. This time he gave us a talk on the biases exploited by marketing. Pablo was also the mentor of this WordCamp, a very invisible role but key for everything to go smoothly.

My friend Fernando Rebolledo, my partner in revelry and laughter, I could not see your talk, I stayed at Pablo’s. I promise to watch it on WPTV! 😉

Me and Leire Roldán were given a good challenge. The most difficult time to give a talk, after lunch.

When I saw the program schedule, my first thought was: My madriña! How do I keep them awake by having to talk about Search Console? I refer to the wonderful photos of Nilo:

Wajari Velásquez
Me and my stuff. Photo by Nilo Vélez

I used all my tricks: Chicote costume, lollipops and chocolate bars, and “suspicious” bags with food products to give cooking tips.

I don’t know if they learned well from Search Console, but at least I hope they know how to give a different touch to stew and curry in the wok.

Thanks to Eva Abal and Dani Keral, two wonderful bloggers and friends who allowed me to show their Search Console data to explain details of how it works 😍

Here is the video of my talk:

The farewell of the WordCamp was emotional and the after party was one of the most fun. That delicious mountain dinner and as always we ended up extending the party until unexpected hours. I don’t share it in pictures, I’m very dangerous with cameras at night.

I loved meeting new people like María Nistal, Cristina Grande, Renata Campos, Iván José López and so many other people that I love to meet at these events, and that it would be impossible to mention in their entirety.

I laughed till I dropped, I had hugs and very emotional conversations with two people, and that alone is worth any WordCamp. They really recharge my energy to unsuspected levels.

If I want to thank Fernando Lopez, amazing SEO consultant, co-organizer of WordPress Griñon who gave me good tips and tools to improve our workflows, thank you machine!

Jaime Gármar and Wajari doing their thing
So that’s it…

Contributor day

My favorite day of any WordCamp. Too bad I’m usually a little hungover ¯ (ツ)_/¯

Beautiful space to celebrate it, a palace that inspired a lot and gives me the impression of having been one of the most productive contributor days I remember.

Photo by Nilo Vélez

With two talks that I was really looking forward to seeing. The first of two great friends: Jose Ramón Bernabeu and Jose Luis Losada.

With a title that sounds like a fairy tale: “Why do a Galician electrician and a toy salesman from Alicante end up volunteering in all the WordCamps they can?

Jose Ramón Bernabeu and Jose Luis Losada
Jose Ramón Bernabeu and Jose Luis Losada

I know the history of these two phenomena. The Pontevedra community would not be what it is without the work and spirit of these young people. Thank you!

Estela Rueda with Ana Cirujano
Estela Rueda with Ana Cirujano

And the second one, by Estela Rueda, which I loved. We can’t imagine the complexity that can be behind an open source project as big as this one.

His explanation of all the work behind the documentation team is fascinating.

I want to thank all the sponsors who make this event meaningful. Most of them are close friends who enjoy this as much as we do and keep the ecosystem growing in a healthy and sustainable way.

I say goodbye exhausted from an intense but revitalizing weekend. Looking forward to the next WordCamps. I can never be objective. I do not intend to.

I’m honest, without these escape valves, freelancing and working remotely would become mentally exhausting.

It is these moments of intensity and good energy that recharge you to enjoy and be a better professional.

To me, just laughing with friends is the best medicine we can have to face the day to day with affection and illusion.

So I fulfill my tradition, one more WC, of writing about her. See you at the next one. And if you live in the Sierra de Madrid, you are already late to join this fantastic group.

Long live and prosper WordPress!

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