When Communities (Discourse) was opened for everyone, one of the initial emails invited us to request the creation of groups (communities) here; I reacted to this mail by asking for the creation of LatAm and Colombia. I think I am one of those few doers in LatAm, so that’s why I took that decision by myself. I invited other active people in different LatAm Telegram chats and Juntas (OSMVideo) to become moderators; some of them accepted the invitation, and others didn’t answer. However, the opportunity to become a moderator to anyone was left open; in the end, I am not the one who assigns the moderators, and anyone can still be part of it.
One of the initial purposes of having a LatAm community is to integrate the different countries because we share many things from the mapping perspective (similar architecture, natural places, languages, and history). Also, by having a community, one can find similar mapping interests, like the initiative to map trees we have discovered. At the time, I wanted to create a good and friendly environment around OSM.
Some months have passed since the Latam community was created, and the only topics in this community are related to the 6th bimonthly junta and all the disagreements that this caused. However, no one has contributed to the thread I created asking for someone to lead the 7th bimonthly junta that will take place on January 2023. That reflects that a few people is trying to create events, contribute, engage, and enlarge the Latam community, and probably those few users are not regular users on this platform. Still, the most visible topics are the ones that demotivate people to continue helping, and I could feel that the only important thing is to complain. I don’t see any topic really related to mapping or explanations about tagging.
One of the principles I am very attached to is this:
“OSM is powered by its Community. Engage positively with the Community, be a good and respectful neighbour and assume good intent.”. But I see people’s allegations are completely against this, pointing out that everything was done with a bad purpose.
If Communities continues like that, I will use other official channels, like Wiki and OSMVideo, for conferences and other unofficial channels like Telegram. But I won’t invite Latam people to use/join communities until the moderators are respected, and the threads follow the OSM principles. I normally interact with new users, but I won’t tell them to come here to this battlefield and be accused of making mistakes and not allowing them to learn.
Finally, I don’t work for any organization related to OSM, and all my contributions are as a volunteer, but I don’t want to spend my time in tedious conversations. I ask for respect about the generic accusations when mentioning “some” moderators (at the time, I was one of them) because that is unclear, and it allows misinterpretation that could affect my name. To conclude, if I did wrong by requesting the creation of this Latam community, let us close it. It seems other volunteers see this without any purpose, whose original objective is not followed, and the moderators are “abusing” its huge power given.