This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Austin, TX to attend the National Latino Congreso Convention. It was my first time attending this convention and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. However, I was excited especially because my BFF Edward was coming along for the ride.
As part of the North Texas Dream Team we were able to get most of the funds sponsored by Domingo Garcia. If it hadn’t been for Domingo I don’t think many of the students (including myself) would have attended, so a BIG thanks go out to Domingo.
We had a great team of students attending the convention from all over North Texas including SMU, UTD, UNT, TWU, and various DCCCD schools.
This years convention theme was “Fight back, fight for” which basically meant that we as Latinos need to educate ourselves about issues that affect us so that we can go out and fight for our rights. Workshops ranged from health care, education, the internet to even immigration.
There were all sorts of leaders from around the nation attending this convention and it was a pleasure meeting them and listening to them talk at the workshop panels.
A panel that was very interesting was the panel on internet neutrality. Brent Wilkes, LULAC National Executive Director, spoke on how internet neutrality affected Latinos. He also spoke about the access levels and statistics when it comes to Latinos adopting computers and internet. I was amazed to see his presentation and to hear a point of view that I hadn’t ever thought about. Many Latino families earn very little every year and with rising prices of monthly internet cost it makes it harder and harder for them to have this luxury item in their home. And that is just internet! Lets talk about a computer that cost hundredths of dollars more. How will a Latino household have internet if they can’t even afford a computer? It just isn’t possible. And with education moving faster and faster to computers and having everything electronic; how can a Latino child compete and complete their work from home? These are the issues that were brought to the table. Although, some of this information isn’t new it just puts into perspective how important a computer and internet are in a household. This can very well determine the life of a child and whether or not that child will do well in high school and even attend college.
Now with internet neutrality as such a hot topic… How will this affect Latinos? Will sites that are for Latinos take longer to load? Will we have the patience to stick around until it loads? or will we move on to another page? What if this website that a Latino is trying to reach allows them to fill out a petition to ban or help something they believe in? Will that page load fast enough? These question are very important to the Latino community. Internet neutrality can help or break the Latino community and it is our responsibility to fight for what is best.
Another aspect of the convention that I enjoyed was a trip to St. Edwards University where I was able to watch a documentary “Will the real terrorist stand up?”. Yes, I know this title seems a bit out there and vague. At first I had no idea what the film was about and was surprised when I finally heard that it was about the Cuban 5 and Fidel Castro. Who would have thought. The film was very interesting and definitely taught me something new.
Overall, the convention was a good sneak peek into what the National Latino Congreso does. I was very impressed and can truly say I took something out of it. If you would like more information on the National Latino Congreso here is a link: http://www.latinocongreso.org/ If you would like to view the agenda click here: http://www.latinocongreso.org/media/pdf/NLC2011Brochure.pdf