さいわいなるかな、世界への好奇心は、彼を常に新しい冒険の舵につかせました。1991年に、ロレンテはその後しばらくかかりっきりになった仕事に就きました。フィールド・レプ (field rep) という国際開発機関に就職し、小口貸付けの実施、社会的支援プログラムの指揮、安全な医療と食糧確保の支援にあたったのです。
“It was important work. I was helping people that were without resources, and that were really going through a hard time…However, it was about me empowering them to help themselves, about giving them tools so that they could build a better future for themselves,” Lorente says.
Patricio states that during this time he became deeply aware of the disparity that existed between those that “have and don’t have.” It was also around this time that he was introduced to Wikipedia.
“In my work experience, what I have learned is that the only way to truly help people, is if they are the protagonists and not passive receivers. Wikipedia makes every human a protagonist. That’s what attracted me to the project. It is an encyclopedia that anyone could use, that anyone can participate in, and that it is the biggest collection of information that humanity has ever created,’ states Lorente.
Patricio’s first entry was for his local “futbol” team, however, he soon began editing on more complex topics, and became a regular contributor. His passion for the site would continue to increase as he became more aware of how it was helping the same communities he was serving. Within a few years, Patricio would help establish Wikimedia Argentina, a volunteer group dedicated to cultivating the Wikimedia projects on a local level. The group was officially created this past September.
“Wikimedia Argentina has a very ambitious agenda in front of us. Next week we are getting together with native tribes, hoping to stimulate the creation of Wikipedia in their own languages. There has been a lot of discussion between the tribes on how to write these oral languages. The irony is that we are not only introducing Wikipedia to them, but also introducing the wiki way of consensus decision making, so that they can figure out how to best do this,” he says.
According to Patricio, Wikimedia Argentina is also researching ways to help underprivileged students and schools in Argentina: “One of our many ideas is to create Wikireaders, or textbooks created with Wikipedia’s free content. There are many schools that don’t have resources, not to mention Internet connection.”
Today, Patricio is married with two gorgeous children. He has changed jobs, and is currently heading up a University of La Plata department, responsible for allocating scholarships to underprivileged students. He believes Wikipedia and its sister projects can transform the reality of many underprivileged people in his homeland into something positive and hopeful.
“All Wikimedia Argentina needs is time.”
Wikimedia Argentina celebrates its launch. The group has many ambitious plans to help underrepresented communities in South America using Wikipedia's free content.