Communities of Practice in Latin America: R and Friends


Talk in English. This panel will discuss the rapid growth of the R user community in Latin America (LatAm) including many communities of practice in the R ecosystem and beyond. Lowering the language barrier. LatAm R-Ladies led efforts to translate into Spanish: R for Data Science (, R Consortium 2017 survey (, and RStudio Cheatsheets among others. R-Ladies are also part of The Carpentries lessons internationalization. #DatosDeMiercoles, the Spanish-speaking sibling of #TidyTuesday, was also catalyzed. Growing the community. The creation of new conferences was another R-Ladies-led effort. Thanks to the R-Ladies network, the trilingual LatinR conference ( got rapidly started. Other events that got the R-Ladies spark include ConectaR ( and SatRDays Santiago and Rio. Among other achievements, these events impulsed the regional community in the form of new and diversity-minded R user groups. Training and Mentoring. All of the above facilitated access to high-quality instruction in R and evidence-based teaching methods through the The Carpentries and RStudio, and consequently multiplied regional R teaching. Networking. The networks created also increased the start of regionally-developed packages (e.g., eph, presentes) by users gathered at RUGs of several LatAm countries. LatAm users are accessing scholarships, grants, and seat at international R-related decision-making committees. They increasingly participate at international R conferences and other R-related initiatives such as Reprohack, rOpenSci, or The Carpentries. Interacting with other communities. The relationship between R-Ladies and general RUGs with other communities and organizations, such as WiMLDS, increased the number of events where R is the star and brought R-world referrents to LatAm for the first time. The growth, products, and results obtained in a relatively short period of time are very encouraging for furthering the development of the user community in the region. In the last three years, the LatAm R user community has seen fast growth and regrouping. This panel discusses key aspects of this process and lessons learned, and seeks to inspire other R regional communities worldwide.

Laura Acion
Adjunct Researcher