Muito prazer! // ¡Un placer conocerte! // Nice to meet you! — Introducing the SIGCHI Latin America Committee

Adriana S Vivacqua
Published in
6 min readJul 6, 2021


By Heloisa Candello, Luis A. Castro, Leonel Morales Díaz, Sane Gaytán, Carla F. Griggio, Francisco J. Gutierrez, Gustavo López Herrera, Roberto Pereira, Pedro Reynolds-Cuéllar, Saiph Savage, Adriana S. Vivacqua & Marisol Wong-Villacres

A collage of images of Latin America (all images from Unsplash).
A collage of images of Latin America (all images from Unsplash)

The SIGCHI Latin America Committee was created in May 2021 to further highlight and promote HCI education, research, and practice in the region. Its creation stemmed from a widely recognized challenge for HCI in Latin America, which is a prevalent disconnect between academics, practitioners and students in the field who are working within and for Latin America (LATAM).

As a committee formed by members from diverse geographic, cultural, and academic backgrounds, we pursue the following strategies to support HCI in and for Latin America:

To strengthen and expand the Latin American HCI community by:

  • Identifying local challenges and scope out opportunities
  • Promoting HCI research and development projects in Latin America
  • Supporting the exchange and growth of HCI educational resources by and for Latin America
  • Helping to map and establish connections across HCI communities in the region
  • Collaborating with local conferences’ efforts to cater to both local and global academic expectations

To support career development by:

  • Fostering collaboration opportunities between researchers, organizations and practitioners in Latin America
  • Offering mentorship for advancing researchers’ careers in the context of local standards and creating more opportunities for them in the region.
  • Providing training opportunities for Latin American researchers to position themselves in the international community, including management of online persona, knowledge of publishing venues, and more
  • Organizing events such as courses, workshops, summer schools, and others

To increase Latin American participation and visibility within the SIGCHI community by:

  • Promoting Latin American researchers and their work. This includes increasing their presence in strategic positions (keynotes, exec. positions, chairs, program committees, etc.)
  • Providing guidance regarding leadership positions in the SIGCHI ecosystem
  • Promote the exchange of experiences in education, research and development across challenging contexts, worldwide
  • Assisting HCI-related conferences that want to come to Latin America with local knowledge and experience

As starting initiatives, we have elected to (1) put together a Latin America communications list, with the main forms of communications for the different HCI communities in each country, and a communications plan, so that we can reach as many people as possible in Latin America; (2) create a YouTube channel to spotlight research done in Latin America, which will be designed via participatory workshops and (3) further develop a Latin America HCI Research Map (started at a workshop at CSCW in 2018), mapping who is working on what topics and where, what conferences are currently in place, and hopefully making it easier to foster collaborations across borders.

As we start to work, we welcome suggestions from the community and hope to hear your ideas so we can figure out how to best help the community grow. We will be keeping in touch with the community, so expect to hear from us in the near future! In the meantime, you can read a bit from each of us below!

Heloisa Candello, IBM Research, Brazil: “I would like to see the LATAM researchers bringing contributions to the HCI field and increasing collaboration with other researchers. I also would like to see emerging theories, methods, and insightful ideas tested in LATAM that would inspire the whole HCI community to try.”

Luis A. Castro, Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora, México: “I would like to help consolidate the HCI community in Latin America and create bridges among the different communities that exist in the region and across the region.”

Leonel Morales Díaz, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala: “Let’s help advance our understanding of the relationship between Latin Americans and the technology that is available now and that of the future.”

Sane Gaytán, Universidad de Colima, México: “I would like that the Latin American HCI communities have more visibility. Latin America has a unique set of social, cultural, and technical characteristics. This region is so diverse, with many challenges and opportunities, and with so much to offer, not only to its local communities but to other HCI communities in the world.”

Carla F. Griggio, Aarhus University, Denmark (Argentina): “I would like the Latin American community of HCI researchers to have greater visibility internationally and create strong bonds that help expand the field across LATAM. I would also like to see more collaborations between Latin American researchers working abroad and locals, sharing resources, experiences and interdisciplinary skills. I hope that through the efforts of this committee and the broader Latin American HCI community, LATAM becomes an internationally recognized place for HCI education and research.”

Francisco J. Gutierrez, Universidad de Chile, Chile: “I would like to highlight the diversity of viewpoints, expectations, and concerns on HCI research and practice, in line with the rich culture that characterizes LATAM. In that respect, I long for a better understanding of what HCI actually is in the broader Computer Science discipline, as well as promoting world class education and training in the field.”

Gustavo López Herrera, Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica: The Latin American community is culturally diverse. HCI research has leveraged this characteristic. However, our research has low visibility in the “main” forums around the world. I would like to see a strong LATAM research community creating and enriching technologies to address the region’s problems (considering our socio-political context, plurality, history, and culture) and improve our way of working and general quality of life.”

Roberto Pereira, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brasil: “LATAM provides a rich context for research, education, and development in HCI. Some challenges of our context require situated theories, methods, and approaches for HCI research and practice. On the other hand, initiatives to overcome challenges in LATAM can generate knowledge on topics of broad interest, such as accessibility, inclusion, quality of life, gender equality, sustainability, digital democracy, culture, human values, and other topics related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. I see that we, as the SIGCHI Latin America Committee, have the opportunity and the responsibility to support these initiatives and disseminate their results.”

Pedro Reynolds-Cuéllar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US (Colombia): “The more I learn about Latin America, the clearer it becomes the need to increase visibility to the work done in the region. My wish is to work within this committee towards that vision with a personal goal to explore how we can alter existing knowledge production infrastructures and create new ones that enable this visibility, as well as by promoting Latin American researchers and their work in top venues worldwide. Understanding how to exchange, collaborate and learn from each other across and outside LATAM can greatly benefit HCI and other connected disciplines and practices”.

Saiph Savage, UNAM & Northeastern University (Mexico): “I would like to help increase the number of papers at top conferences by LATAM universities. I would also like to help LATAM researchers in their career development.“

Adriana S. Vivacqua, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil: “I envision an interconnected Latin American community, with multi-country projects and mutual learning across borders. I would like to create opportunities for researchers to bridge geographic distances, within LATAM and with other regions as well, strengthening the community and creating new possibilities for upcoming researchers.”

Marisol Wong-Villacres, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, Ecuador: “In my work supporting HCI in LATAM, I am particularly interested in taking a strength-based approach. That is, one that recognizes the complex challenges that impact the whole region but addresses them from a rich understanding of the knowledge and experiences that HCI communities in LATAM already hold. I am specifically drawn to promoting more mutual learning opportunities across LATAM as well as between LATAM and other parts of the world, especially other countries in the Global South. I feel that learning from each others’ strengths is critical to inform the transformations that HCI academia and practice need worldwide.”