(1) An adventure for the organization, because of all the uncertainty in terms of health.
(2) A historic event because of the emotional implications of seeing each other after such a long time.
When it was published that Seville would become the first WC in the world after the pandemic, I was not surprised.
We already know that the Seville community have been pioneers and play an essential role in the history of the WordPress community in Spain.
I longed to have a face-to-face one and did not hesitate for a second to sign up. I wanted to participate in as many roles as possible.
These two years have been a period that transformed many lives. I am no exception. Paradigms have been broken, new ways of communicating and sharing have been created, ways of working have changed.
But we are social entities, separation and isolation took its toll.
Although online events have generated very positive things, not being able to give a hug, share the same space, food, laughter, I think it has affected all of us.
So after 643 days without being able to share in person, organizing a WC in the current conditions and in less than two months (call for sponsors on November 5th) has been an act of courage on the part of the organization team.
The creativity of the WP group in Seville is well known by the community, setting milestones in everything they do.
After having lived the experience in first person, I believe I am not wrong in saying that the only secret they have is the love they put in what they undertake.
And that adjective is what I use to describe this WC: affection, empathy, connection.
It has been an event dedicated by and for the community.
I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that it will be a historic WC that we will keep in our memories for a long time.
The organizing team with absolute transparency created daily Twitch connections, which narrated how they were organizing for the event.
They would publish an episode and invite speakers, volunteers, sponsors, even regular friends from the community to participate in this experiment, which you could consume on your favorite podcasting platform if you were unable to watch the live episode.
With a speed that left no one indifferent, they announced their celebration at WCES, and since then they have not stopped creating content and also leaving a sense of excitement and surprise until the day arrived.
Many people in the organization are veterans. To all of you, I congratulate you for having given us this very special and beautiful reunion.
And of course the volunteers, who receive the baton on the day of the event, so that everything goes perfectly.
A special WordCamp
The team has been incredibly creative in everything, from the lead-up, organizing a group on Telegram, so we could get organized: travel, accommodations, airport shuttles, etc.
All you had to do was join the group. Excitement and anticipation were palpable in the conversations.
I arrived on Friday, along with the legendary Jose Luis Losada, of course, signed up as a volunteer my great friend.
It never ceases to amaze me that this type of event attracts very special people and that we establish bonds that last over time.
We went to the venue, the place where the whole WC would be held, in Dos Hermanas.
A social club with an impressive assembly hall and many people already approached that same Friday, with the excuse of “lending a hand” to a team exhausted from running, to reach the finish line.
The reality was that we were really looking forward to seeing each other (for real) after this very long break.
What a strange feeling to be able to hug people you’ve been interacting with for almost two years at virtual events and haven’t even gotten to meet.
Ana Gavilán, whom I had the immense pleasure of meeting in the organization of the Galicia WC; Adrián Cobo, an amazing developer, creative to the max, funny, who together with Fernando García Rebolledo has one of the most fun podcasts and communities: El Arroyo.
To the great Jesús Yesares, at last! I don’t know how many times we met virtually and we always said the same thing: when can we meet?
To Jonathan and Maria from LucusHost, a Galician company that started sponsoring online events, including WC Galicia. We had spoken only through Zoom. And finally Teresa Sáez, who I knew online, but we had not been able to meet.
To many other people, that I do not mention, but that I had the opportunity to meet personally, mythical and well known people within the ecosystem such as: Jose Arcos, Gustavo Galati, Fernando Fernandez, Iván Barreda, José Martínez, Luis Rull, Mariano Perez, Materrón, one of WP’s funniest characters, Roberto Miralles from Mowomo, Pau from Grafreak.
And of course, give a big hug to old and good friends like: Rocío, Pablo Moratinos, Piccia Neri, Vicent Sanchis, Fernando Tellado, Jaime Garmar, Ibón Azkoitia, Fran Torres, Fellyph Cintra, David Navia, Dani Serrano, Angel Zinsel, Patricia Navarro.
I’m sure I’m missing some people, but I think you get the idea ¯ (ツ)_/¯
On Friday dinner, spectacular, fun, delicious everything, with a lot of attention to detail as you will see in the photos.
And we take shelter early for the big day that starts with the welcome of the organizers: Rafa and Nilo.
Rafa briefly told us about the historical development of WP in Spain. A humbling cure to know our origins and understand who we are today.
The love story of Nilo and Materron made us laugh a lot and understand that these WCs, these “get-togethers with your geeky friends” serve to connect the dots in unexpected places.
You never know where the connections you make will reach you.
The organization wanted to give it a playful touch, from the detail of the accreditations that looked like Magic cards, to a game that encouraged networking.
You had to execute some actions in networks, guess some details of the accreditations, approach sponsors, meet someone new, etc. With that you were entered into a raffle at the end of the event. 30 prizes were distributed!
Very funny initiative. I will write down a few ideas for the Pontevedra event.
After the coffee break, a very emotional round table: “The bus that ran over us”.
It involved explanation and discussion by 4 groups who did activities and did different things during the pandemic.
Social activities, meetups, WordCamps with virtuality as the driving force in the face of social circumstances:
- The people from Mowomo to explain their Mowomo Camp initiative. Mercedes Romero, Roberto Miralles and Pedro Crespo.
- Vincent and Teresa to tell their experience with the Cafelito.
- Jose Luis and I, to explain the union of the Galician groups for the meetups and subsequent consolidation with WC Galicia.
- Pablo Moratinos and Adrián Cobo to tell their experience of WordCamp Spain 2020 and 2021.
Nilo, you got me with the kitty (maneki-neko) and the screenshots of my living room 😉
From Pablo and Adrián’s talk, the adventure of these two freaks with the organization of these two very symbolic and special WCs, I loved it.
In addition, Paul brought up a quote that struck me deeply and that he also mentions in his review:
“There are three kinds of people in the world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.”Nicholas Murray Butler
To reflect and position yourself. Which group do you want to be in?
The last talk before lunch was entitled: What do we do now? about the future of WordPress in 2 aspects:
- Community, explained by Rocío Valdivia
- The future of WP from the full site editing, which was explained in a masterful way: Luis Herranz and Héctor Prieto.
Rocío’s talk was very moving and impactful. Especially for a detail that made the whole audience stand up, the tribute to the great Fernando Tellado.
A person who gives us a lot, both in terms of community and content. An example to follow and an inspiration. Thank you Fernando, without a doubt the community in Spain would not be the same without your support and love.
The traditional family photo, a bit special, with masks and everyone with a gift of the blue beanie with the WP logo.
After a delicious lunch enjoying the wonderful Sevillian weather, I laughed a lot and we started an atypical afternoon that instead of talks, there were “Tribe Meetings” to create conversation groups on a variety of topics.
We were divided between followers of Gutenberg and the classic editor, and then the divisions became more “peculiar”: by country, type of food, etc. Fun and incentivized to talk about a lot more things than WP.
During this period I took the opportunity to fulfill my promise in front of the stage: to ask WC Central for Pontevedra’s request for September 2022. 🙂 So we will have an interesting year ahead.
In closing, looking at the events we will have from now on, Irun, Pontevedra, Valencia, Seville, closing the circle.
From Galicia we embrace this challenge with much affection, understanding that there will not be as many face-to-face events as we were used to. So we are very happy to be part of this select group.
After the awards, my head almost exploded with the after-party, a wonderful musical group 🤯.
My madriña, they are setting the bar high for the rest of the groups to be able to surprise.
Getting to know Seville
The organizing group was not enough to surprise us the whole event on Saturday. It is not enough for the Sevillians.
You had to see the look on everyone’s face when we headed to what we thought was a guided tour and were put on a bus, while Nilo’s wife: Fatima Rincón and the friend and official tour guide: Veronica Couso They gave us this wonderful tour, explaining the most emblematic sites of the city.
Seville, a city full of stories, nicknames, jocularity and incredible spaces. I was fascinated. 🥰
Also during the route, part of the organizing team was telling us very nice and original details: Mariano, Rafa and of course, the laughter did not stop with Materrón and his anecdotes.
And just when you thought it was all over… No, even more.
A gymkhana in which, divided into groups, we were discovering places in the city, doing challenges, taking photos, uploading tweets to social networks.
I have no words to describe what this group did to us.
He gave us a fantastic weekend that filled us with illusion, after such a long time of social isolation.
I would like to warmly thank Nilo Velez for his creativity, for the affection with the Galician delegation that looked for us at the airport and took care of us until the last moment. 😇
It has been a privilege to meet this WordPress family from Seville and I will be eternally grateful to them.
The only thing I can promise you is that when you come to Galicia in September, we will return some of the love you have given us and that shows that WordPress is not code, but people.
Live long and prosper!