By Jacqueline Patiño
In December 2010, a special conference for women was held in Washington DC. It was titled TEDWomen: Reshaping the Future. The conference was unprecedented in how many women from around the world and from all walks of life converged together to learn from one another, get to know each other and be inspired by each other's lives.
One woman who traveled to TEDWomen was Jacqueline Patiño. Jacqueline is from Bolivia and is a citizen journalist with World Pulse, an online media organization that empowers women globally to speak out using today's technology.
In Bolivia, Jacqueline has worked hard to achieve her dreams and ignite change in her native country. At 18, she found herself on the streets with two children, fleeing severe violence at home. Yet, she decided that life would not defeat her.
College student by night, she took on odd jobs, eventually launching her own small businesses. Today, she is a fierce advocate for teen moms and has worked with social organizations and indigenous groups across Bolivia spreading her message of non-violence and possibility.
Jacqueline Patiño (center) is joined by her World Pulse citizen journalist peers, Sunita Basnet of Nepal (left) and Malayapinas of the Philippines (far right), as they speak at the December 2010 TEDWomen's conference in Washington, DC.
Latina Lista wondered what it was like for Jacqueline to be one of the featured speakers at TEDWomen, along with two of her World Pulse peers. In this short post, Jacqueline describes what it was like for her to be there among the "stars."
From all that can be said about TED, I could write hundreds of pages. But I will only say it has been an honor to be the guest speaker who shared her experience in citizen journalism and web 2.0 in such a distinguished environment.
Describing TED is no easy task, but I will try.
Have you ever been in the country at night, with no electricity? You can see the stars shining clearly, without interference, the sounds are off, the lights are off, and you marvel at the constellation of stars, how they shine, how beautiful they are and how many of them exists.
I felt like that at TED. Truly honored to be the witness of how these women stars came to share their wisdom and womanhood with all of us, seeing them shining, and knowing that each of them had her own light, being different from the other lights, but shining as strongly as ever.
Each woman left a deep mark in my heart, in my senses and my spirit. All these stars shining in the beautiful sky of Washington, brightly, and yet so far away. But wait, for one second, I was also shining in the same sky!
Unbelievable. Our lights shone in the same sky and now my life cannot be the same.
I must do more, say more, act more, so that my light will not be so far away from theirs anymore. This is the challenge that TED left for me, and that I am willing to be ready for.
TED, I hope this will not be the last time I am there. It is only the first. There is more to come, I promise.
I will raise my voice to tell the world here, in South America, and especially in Bolivia, women also have ideas that are worth spreading, in equal terms, with equal light.