KCD post by Sergio Méndez, CNCF Ambassador

Cloud Native Guatemala started in 2019 with the goal of rebirthing the spirit of open source communities in the USAC university in Guatemala. It started on a rainy night with some problems with my Internet connection. Since 2019 this group has tried to include people across the Internet and with the students of this university. It was difficult at some point because the next year a pandemic hit, so in-person events were not available. 

The first two years set the basis of the group, the challenge came in 2021, the first KCD in Guatemala led by students, divided in two days, first day for students and the second for professionals. It was a nice experience, we included people outside Guatemala, and locals. The event finished with a live concert of a local band in Guatemala.

After a few years of working with students in the USAC university and hosting Cloud Native Guatemala, in 2023 we decided to host the second day in-person and include other countries in our event to promote the diversity and inclusion in Latin America but trying to bring a hole new experience for students, and break the gap that a student can access people from other countries. Fortunately, we had the participation of several speakers coming from Spain, Colombia, El Salvador, USAC and Guatemala, and the whole event was organized by senior students and professionals in Guatemala, who were part of the USAC university in the majority. 

The difference in this event was the in-person experience, live streaming from the venue and including people from other countries, and also a free dinner at a pizza restaurant close to the venue.

The sponsors were amazing, they trusted us, and helped make the event happen. It was a nice time to share with new people and friends, which is the mindset in the group, to be friends and have a safe space

Now let’s hear from some of the organizers of the KCD Guatemala in 2023.

Salvador Lopez
“Personally, this was my first time in an event like the KCD that we had and also, the first time as an organizer. It all started with me asking Sergio to join the WhatsApp group, not knowing that I’d ended up being an organizer, as a person that grew up in the countryside, far from the Capital City, you can feel like you’re not immersed enough in the Cloud Native world but, this kind of event is capable of opening doors to “foreigners” like me. KCD Guatemala proved what inclusivity means, joining people from different backgrounds and even, given the opportunity to emerge startups like AdClicker or Bitsis to help them sponsor the event but not only that, we also help local businesses to share some of the flavors with the community. 

I’m looking forward to helping Cloud Native Guatemala, and why not, bring our spirited and kind community to the countryside as well, thus closing the knowledge gaps, one talk at a time.” 

Jossie Castrillo:

“In my case, I had the opportunity to participate in previous events, both local and foreign, from the perspective of a participant, speaker and now as co-organizer of KCD Guatemala. It all started with the idea of being able to support students immersed in the world of technology and attracting them to the Cloud Native world, and it became an amazing experience where both students and professionals attended through various talks by volunteers and speakers projecting greater inclusion by 2024 where we can connect with more people through the wonders of technology.”

Juan Pablo García Monzón:

“From my viewpoint the organization of the event was solid and it was a really good experience to participate as an organizer and speaker on the KCD Guatemala for the in-person day.  One of the points that I believe is going to be better in this present year is to include more female speakers to open the space to other voices.”

Yimmi Ruano:

“The first time I came across the concept of “cloud native” was in 2020, during my operating systems course at the university. Initially, I associated the term with the well-known public clouds and their tools, without suspecting that it was an entirely different universe of fascinating tools. Although I was already familiar with the term “containers,” I used them personally without realizing that, along with Kubernetes, they constituted one of the most innovative foundations in current infrastructure construction.

My immersion in Kubernetes marked the beginning of a deep fascination with the entire ecosystem surrounding it. I discovered that each cloud native tool has a specific purpose, designed to address problems that arose in the past when building infrastructures, as well as to tackle challenges that continually emerge today.

Being part of the Cloud Native community has been an enriching experience. Through meetups, I’ve had the opportunity to both share my knowledge and learn from others passionate about this field. It’s gratifying to see how, day by day, this ecosystem expands and becomes even more extraordinary, offering increasingly innovative solutions to the challenges in the infrastructure world.”

Diana Menendez:

“I have had the opportunity to participate in previous KCDs here in my country and since the very first time it inspired me and is the reason why I keep on participating and became part of the organizers group. KCD Guatemala has included students, professionals and volunteers. In this new year we are planning to get more people interested in the community and technology.”

Sergio Méndez

“This time for me was something new, moving from a virtual to an in-person event. I remember that a few years ago someone in the CNCF community mentioned something about the next generation of cloud native engineers. Guatemala is living this episode of its history in the cloud native chapter and I feel proud to see this with my eyes, so let’s continue with this legacy in the coming years.” 

Jefferson Molina:

“This was my first in-person activity which helped me connect with people,  get in deep with cloud native topics, and motivated me to get more involved in the community. I would like to organize more events and continue participating as a community organizer in Guatemala. All these things are currently helping me with my university classes, and it’s motivated me to invite more classmates to attend these types of events. I am currently studying to obtain Kubernetes certifications and I want to be an ambassador one day to help Guatemala.”

Final Words

This is the beginning of a legacy of students, and teaching to the next generation of cloud native engineers in Guatemala. If you can imagine something, with others’ help you can do it.