Famous beach Copacabana and football are the most frequent associations when we think of South America. Well, there are plenty more things there, that's for sure. Drupal Camps are one of those. In our world tour we already touched continents like Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. In the exact same sequence are continents listed from one with the most Drupal Camps (Europe) to the one with the least Drupal Camps (Africa). We expected to find South America between Asia and Africa, but for the first time, we were wrong.
Our assumptions were so wrong, that it was difficult to process everything at first. Moreover, it was even more surprising that we think that Drupal is losing its popularity in South America. We will give you one of our explanations, which we think has firm foundations, as well as some potential explanations for the present situation, which we think might be true. But since we don't know the whole context, that reasons will only serve as hypothesis.
This year's Drupal Camps in South America
It's hard to believe, but in cases of North America and Europe, we actually have to leave out some of the Drupal Camps. That's definitely not the case here, because all we could manage to find was one Drupal Camp that took place this year in South America. One! Even Africa had more (meaning no disrespect to that continent). With such poor event management, Drupal will not gain on its popularity.
The only Drupal Camp in South American soil was a little later this year. It was on 25th of June in Campinas in Brazil. DrupalCamp Campinas lasted one whole day in Faculdade Metrocamp. It was organized in Campinas after five years of drought, because all other editions were in the city of Sao Paulo, although both cities are in the state of Sao Paulo.
Occasional Drupal Camps
Dealing with the shock revelation of the shortage of this year's Drupal Camps in South America, we wondered about the past. Has it always been so bad? Were there always such a lack of interest in Drupal or were there other circumstances, why Drupal did not make it to the bigger stage? No, definitely not. There were many Drupal Camps scheduled in the past, some even lasting for more than two days, attracting prominent speakers.
The most Drupal Camps were in 2014. Whether this is connected to the World Cup tournament in Football, which turned world's attention to Brazil that year, we don't know. If we had to answer, we believe that the answer is affirmative, but we'll leave you to judge on that. We just know that DrupalCamp Picchu, five day event in Cusco in Peru, Drupal Camp Ecuador and Drupal Camp Bolivia, were at least as well organized as some other Drupal Camps on other continents.
On the other hand, we are certain that some Drupal Camps from 2014 and others from the previous years, lead to the organization of DrupalCon Latin America, which was scheduled from 10th to 12th of February 2015 in Bogota, Colombia. We are also certain that because of DrupalCon, sponsors were easier to reach and some camps were organized, because they took the advantage of the situation. They probably would not be able to see the daylight in normal circumstances. However, DrupalCamp Quito and Drupalcamp Chile later that year just strengthen Drupal's »image«.
Drupal is loosing
Just as things looked to scale, everything went to a setback this year. It may be just some bad year or mixture of something else. Since we don't know the whole context, we can only guess. Our guesses are that communities are not happy with the response they’ve got in the past, sponsors are more difficult to track down since there was no DrupalCon in South America, there are not enough Drupalistas willing to pull that kind of project through, there are not enough volunteers, venues etc. Moreover, suprisingly this year's Summer Olympic Games in Rio did not have the same impact as the World Cup in Football had two years ago.
In conclusion, South America may had a better starting point than Africa and it may had more frequent Drupal Camps than Africa in the recent years. But this year, everything looks really poor. South America had the fewest Drupal Camps compared to other continents (so far). Therefore, there is no doubt that South America takes the last place in our world tour Drupal Camps ranking table. We will be hoping to find more positive news about Drupal and its Camps in one of our next blog posts. We'll give you a hint. A region between North America and Sout America is not forgotten.