Thank You/Juan Ignacio Iglesias

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Juan Ignacio Iglesias

Wikipedia is wonderful and unexpected. And when Wikipedia is involved, wonderful and unexpected things often become possible… like a 23-year-old photographer from Buenos Aires getting a photo published in the New York Times.

Let me tell you the story.

When I was a kid, my parents sold their car to buy me a computer. My mom told me, "It's all yours. You can use it for whatever you want — except playing games!" So I learned web programming.

We often struggled financially, even though my parents both worked. But they always made sure I had access to the internet in a cyber cafe or library. I never owned a book about computer science; books cost too much, and even the library did not have up-to-date books available. But I had the internet, and I kept on learning.

Soon, someone hired me to create a simple web design for them. I didn't even have internet at home. I did the work at a cyber cafe and kept my files on a thumb drive.

With my first paycheck, I bought a camera. I started taking pictures and sharing some of them on Wikipedia.

A few years later, I attended a conference for Wikipedia editors and supporters. There, I snapped a lucky photo, which I shared online. The photo ended up in the New York Times, illustrating an article about the conference.

I was so excited and honored. And I realized, that if I hadn't freely shared my photo in the public domain, I wouldn't have been published in one of the most important newspapers in the world.

Wikipedia taught me how valuable sharing can be. If you share what you do, it gets better — you get better, and the world gets better.

Wikipedia changed my life. And I think, if we give it the chance, Wikipedia can change the world.


Juan Ignacio Iglesias

Juan Ignacio Iglesias grew up in Mar del Plata, Argentina. In 2009, he moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he now works as a computer programmer and fashion photographer. Along with sharing his photos, he contributes by editing articles on Wikipedia to achieve a more neutral point of view.

Image Attribution: Juan Ignacio Iglesias by Victor Grigas, under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported, from Wikimedia Commons.

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