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During July, two major events for the Fedora community were held in the Latin America (LATAM) region. Together they drew both active Fedora community contributors and many potential participants from around the entire region, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama, and Venezuela.

The first of these events was the Fedora Users and Developers Conference, or FUDCon, held in Santiago, Chile from July 15-17. Over a hundred people participated in this event, which brought together contributors for technical sessions and workshops focused on Fedora features, projects, and community building. And as with all Fedora events, FUDCon Santiago gave contributors the chance to meet in person for impromptu conversations on how to continue moving the Fedora Project forward into the future. The event was sponsored by Red Hat’s Community Architecture team. There were also a number of presentations on topics such as virtualization, software packaging, and systems administration.

Immediately following the FUDCon event was the 11th Annual Fórum Internacional Software Livre (FISL 11) in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This is one of the largest free software events in the southern hemisphere, bringing together more than 7,500 free and open source software participants and enthusiasts for a weekend of presentations and collaboration. Both Red Hat and the Fedora Project helped sponsor this event, and notable contributors gave talks at the prominent Fedora booth to attract visitors. During the event, Fedora Ambassadors distributed 2,000 Fedora 13 Live CDs and 1,000 install DVDs.

The Fedora Project’s Ambassadors team in Latin America is more than 120 strong, with contributors that work on communication and marketing, translation, coding, software packaging, and art and design. Keeping all these different teams in close communication is a constant challenge for open source projects. Events like FUDCon and FISL 11 make it possible to strengthen social bonds and the possibilities of collaborating across national and regional borders.

A few members from the North American Fedora team were also able to attend the events, further building on the collaboration opportunities they presented. Some of the attendees from North America included engineers Dennis Gilmore and Toshio Kuratomi, and new Fedora Project Leader Jared Smith. Jared delivered his keynote in Spanish to the delight of participants. Dennis and Toshio delivered talks on how attendees could make technical contributions to Fedora through packaging, system administration, and other essential project work. Check out reports from Dennis, Toshio and Jared on their personal blogs, and read more blogs from Fedora community members on the Fedora Planet feed.

Fedora continues to drive toward its next release, combining leading-edge open source technology with a strong community. Fedora 14 is due for release this autumn, and a complete feature list is available on the Fedora wiki. Additional FUDCon events are planned worldwide throughout the year. The next FUDCon will be held September 17-19 in Zurich, Switzerland

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