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destination: FAQ

General Information

What is Wikimania?
A conference for people working on Wikimedia Foundation projects (primarily the world-famous Wikipedia) and other people who are interested in wikis, free and open content/software, and global development/education. See meta and Wikipedia for more information.
Where and when will this year's Wikimania conference be held?
In Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Centro Cultural General San Martín from August 26-28, 2009.

Local Information

The main article for this section is Local information.
What and where is Buenos Aires?
Buenos Aires is the largest city and capital of Argentina. Strongly influenced by European culture, Buenos Aires is sometimes referred to as the "Paris of the South" or "Paris of South America". With about 12 million inhabitants, Buenos Aires is, after Mexico City, the second largest Spanish-speaking metropolitan area in the world.
What languages are spoken in BA?
Spanish is the official language of Argentina. However, English is spoken by most of the people in tourism. To a lesser extent, Portuguese and Italian are understood very easily. See Local information.
Do people speak French in Argentina?
Buenos Aires is a diverse and sophisticated city. There are residents who speak English and French. See Local information.
How's the weather during the summer?
Well, summer in the Northern Hemisphere is actually winter in Argentina, due to Argentina's location below the Equator.
Okay, how's the weather during the winter?
The average temperature for August is of 12,7 °C (54.9 °F), and it tends to be slightly cooler by night. Most days are sunny by the time of Wikimanía. While it may rain, snow has only occured in Buenos Aires two times during the last 100 years —in 1918 and in 2007. See Local information.
What types of clothing do you suggest?
During the day, in the street, a sweater should be enough. At night, when the temperature is lower, it would be good to have a jacket. In any case, long pants are recommended for the winter.
What electricity and telecommunications does Argentina utilize?
The voltage is 220v AC at 50Hz. As for the telephone, the code for Argentina is 54 and the area of Buenos Aires corresponds to 11. There is international direct dialing. Mobile phone companies operate GSM services and provide UMTS/HSDPA data coverage in the 850 and 1900 MHz bands. See Local information.
Argentina is experiencing a swine flu outbreak, is Wikimania 2009 still scheduled? How can I monitor the situation?
See this statement (updated) from the local team. Flu season starts in June and spikes in July, by the end of August is over.

Registration and Lodging

What types of accommodation are available?
See Accommodation.
What room do I have?
Are meals included?
When is check-out time for the accommodations?
Is there a gym or exercise facilities at/near the accommodations?
Will conference accommodation rates be available the week before or the week after the conference, so that a visitor might extend the visit?


How do I get a scholarship?
See Scholarships for more information.
I applied for a scholarship, when will I find out if my application is approved?
The Scholarships committee will review the applications and get back to you after they have reviewed the hundreds of applications.
I got a scholarship. How do I get reimbursed?
We expect travel to be done in advance, so there should be no outlay by scholarship recipients, and therefore no need for reimbursement.

Transportation and Visas

Are there any additional documents I need to enter Argentina other than a passport?
Argentina is one of the most accessible countries for visitors, with very few visitors needing visas. On Visas, you can find a list of 65 countries whose citizens do not need visa to enter Argentina.
How are the international flights?
See Air flights.
Help! I'm at the airport. How do I get into the city?

Take a transportation that have a desk or office on the airport (like Tienda Leon), don't take any offer from people who approach to you in with "offers".

Help! I'm in Buenos Aires. How do I get to the venue?
Help! I need to get to the venue in a cab.

Conference and Schedule

Bilingual approach

I've read that Wikimania 2009 will take place both in English and Spanish. Does that mean that I, who don't speak Spanish, will just miss half of the conference?
Not at all. Following the multilingual spirit of Wikimedia projects and aiming to encourage full participation from the big Hispanophone community we've decided to allow those who don't feel confident speaking English to get involved in their native language. This said, we know well that Wikimania is a conference of international nature and an important part of its attendance doesn't happen to speak Spanish. That's why most of the presentations delivered in Spanish will count with simultaneous translation into English —we guarantee this for all keynotes and as many regular presentations as possible. In short, international attendees will be able to participate in the vast majority of activities.
I've read that Wikimania 2009 will take place both in Spanish and English. Does that mean that I, who don't speak English, will just miss half of the conference?
Reverse the former response.
Does this bilingual approach imply removing contents in one language in order to make space for the two?
No. We'll arrange spaces and timetables so that the approximate amount of activities in English remains unchanged when compared with previous editions of Wikimania. Possible activities in Spanish will not interfere, acting as added value to expand the conference's reach and impact.

General questions

Who's speaking when?
See Schedule
When is the big party for attendees?
The date and location are not fully confirmed yet. The plan is to have the party on Friday 28th.
What other related events are there?
See Special events


What is there to do before/after the conference?
When will other people be there?


What is food like there? I have special dietary needs, what about me?
The local gastronomy is varied, mainly due to the different influences from European colonization. The traditional Spanish cuisine, which can be found in Buenos Aires, combined with strong Italian influence is evident in the wide range of pastas offered. But there are also typical Argentine dishes, like the Argentine barbecue. Although Argentina is traditionally a country with red meat cuisine, any type of food can be found in Buenos Aires. There are specialized, thematic and international cuisine restaurants for all tastes. View Local information.
Should I bring my laptop? Will there be wireless internet access?
You can bring your laptop, the city is no more insecure than other large cities. There are no major crime problems. Wi-Fi connectivity will be available both in the accommodation and at the conference. Most bars and restaurants - and even the subway! - offer Wi-Fi service.
I'm a presenter; how should I bring my presentation?
This is not an official answer, but if you don't have a computer, on a flash drive is always useful.
How do I get announcements about Wikimania?
Watch this site or sign up for wikimania-l, a low volume mailing list for most Wikimania related issues or announcements.