Epistemic status: fanboying and biased. It also focuses a lot on the part of the Spanish-Speaking community that I am familiar with, but there are many other aspects I didn’t cover.
I can’t overstate how impressed I am with the successes of the Spanish-speaking EA community in the last year.
The community was in a somewhat sorry state. Several fragmented efforts in Spain, Argentina and elsewhere had been tried. Some great people joined us that way (e.g., the equally feared and loved Nuño Sempere from QURI, the incredible entrepreneur Pablo Melchor of Ayuda Efectiva or the wondrous researcher Juan García from ALLFED). And yet, without anyone dedicated to nurturing it, the community languished.
Several things were tried. An online group of Spanish-Speaking community builders met periodically to discuss the situation. EA Argentina and EA Spain joined their slack workspaces. Nothing worked, not for long.
In the summer of 2021, at the pandemic's peak, we took a turn for the better. Sandra Malagón and Laura González sought, with the support of the community, a grant to dedicate themselves professionally to growing the Spanish-speaking community.
- They have run ~40 cohorts of the online introductory fellowship to Effective Altruism in Spanish, reaching ~150 people. This led, among other things, to the establishment of two university groups in Bogotá and Santiago, thanks in no small part to the initiative of Alejandro Acelas, Laura Arana, Agustín Covarrubias and David Solar.
- They have run two camps in Mexico and Colombia, widely promoted in Universities and reaching ~80 people. This led to about ~10 people becoming highly engaged community members.
- They have supported the ongoing community efforts in Colombia, Mexico and Chile, which each now have dedicated community leaders: Jaime Andres Fernández in Colombia; Claudette Salinas and Michelle Bruno in México; the whole Universidad Católica de Chile group in, well, Chile.
- Laura González led a translation project to get the EA Handbook and other key materials translated into Spanish, and supported the pitching and translation of EA books. More broadly, she contributes to a larger effort to streamline the translation of EA materials to non-English languages.
- Ángela Aristizábal, who had been doing community building in Colombia, organised a fellows program to nurture young professionals. These fellows have gone on to participate in the United Nations, lead local EA communities and do other amazing projects.
- The activity in Slack has grown sevenfold since 2020, and it’s on an upward trend.
- Sandra Malagón ideated and is running a community fellowship program in Mexico City, establishing the city as a budding hub.
This is just the beginning. EAGx in Mexico City is nearing. The coordination team has more plans to make the community more professional and foster more impactful projects. And the amount of Spanish EA memes is going through the roof.
Here is a highlight of some of my favourite people in the community:
Our fearless captain Sandra Malagón, who within one year has kickstarted an EA hub in Mexico and helped raise a community in Chile and Colombia.
Laura González, who co-coordinates the Spanish speaking community and leads the Spanish translation project. An awesome master of ceremonies for solemn occasions of every sort, too.
Javier Prieto, AI Governance and Policy Program Assistant at Open Philanthropy. Mug not included.
The elusive Pablo Stafforini, who built the EA Forum Wiki, and has been involved since the very beginning of EA.
Ángela María Aristizábal, researcher at FHI, who is helping to mentor our brightest while keeping the rest sane.
Jaime Andrés Fernández (aka The Other Jaime) who leads the community in Colombia and is researching some philosophy topics.
Michelle Bruno, who co-leads the community building efforts in Mexico, contributes to the Sentinel biosecurity program and is a participant of the United Nations Bioweapons Convention. She is also apparently unstoppable, and will soon conquer the Earth.
Claudette Salinas, the Notion-obsessed law student and other co-lead of the Mexico community. She is one of the seven United Nations Foundation Next Gen Fellows.
And many more I could not fit! (Especially Pablos. There are so many Pablos)
And here are some awesome projects by people involved in the Spanish-Speaking EA community:
A series of programs introducing ideas from EA, aimed primarily at University students from Latin American countries.
A network of Spanish-Speaking GCR experts working on building ties with Spanish-speaking governments.
The Spanish effective giving platform. This organization facilitates donations to effective global health and development programs for Spanish and Latin American donors (new cause areas coming soon!).
The Spanish-speaking edition of the Intro Fellowship program.
And many more are coming!
If you want to join the community, I encourage you to join our Slack workspace! The only requirement for entry is an interest in Effective Altruism and being able to speak Spanish
at least as well as Rob Wiblin.
And whether you speak English or Spanish, consider applying to EAGx LatAm and meet us in person!
Thank you to Michelle Bruno, Claudette Salinas, Jaime Andrés Fernández, Ángela Aristizábal, Pablo Melchor, Laura González, Juan Garcia and Agustín Covarrubias for their feedback, and to the Spanish-speaking community for being awesome.