Venue and format of the VII CLA
In 2020, within the framework of the VI CLA held for the first time in virtual mode from Argentina, we presented the proposal to hold the seventh version of the event in the Caribbean region of Colombia. We wanted to follow the traditional model of previous congresses whose costs included a registration + lodging + meals package. In addition, very excited to "get back to normal", we planned for an exclusively face-to-face event.
However, due to the date change of the international congress from 2022 to 2023, we were forced to postpone the VII CLA to 2024. Sadly, the costs for this new date were ostensibly higher due to one of the highest inflation rates in Colombia's recent history. In addition, due to the insufficient and in some cases non-existent funding for the participation of Latin American students in international congresses, the possibility of holding the event in the Caribbean turned out to be unlikely.
Furthermore, in the world scientific community (see for example here) and particularly in the Latin American arachnological community (for example, from organizations such as SWA), topics such as inclusion and gender bias began to take more importance. The VII CLA organizing committee realized that discussions and claims being made in the community cannot be ignored and decided to start learning more deeply about inclusion and take action.
We explored multiple venues, different cities, and sought cost-effective alternatives for the participants, acknowledging that the key players in the congresses must be the students and the science per se (i.e., the academic agenda). Consequently, we decided to change the venue of the VII CLA to the city of Bogotá and implement the hybrid format, considering recent data showing that this practice improves the levels of inclusion (see here and here). The hybrid model presents its own challenges; however, we are ready to make sure that virtual participants have access to most of the academic agenda of the event.
Do you want to know additional facts that helped us to choose Bogota as the new venue to host the VII CLA? Keep reading...
Bogotá is the Colombian city with the largest number of international flight connections. Hence, transportation costs for participants are reduced by avoiding connecting fligths.
There is a wide range of lodging choices in Bogota including lots of options for participants with diverse budgets: hotels, hostels, AirBnB among others.
In Bogotá you can eat food from all regions of the country at affordable prices.Bogotá is home to the largest collection of arachnids in the country at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Why the Universidad del Rosario (Quinta de Mutis campus)?
The Universidad del Rosario expressed its strong support for the event through the loan of their classrooms and auditoriums.
The Universidad del Rosario, Quinta de Mutis campus has the necessary infrastructure for the virtualization of content.
Around the Universidad del Rosario, Quinta de Mutis campus, there is a wide range of accommodation and food options to suit different budgets.
The Quinta de Mutis campus has a central location within the city. It is 20 minutes from El Dorado International Airport and the Salitre transportation terminal.
We want the seventh version of the CLA to stand out for being an inclusive event. We are learning and working to achieve it. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any suggestions regarding our event. We are aware that there is always room for improvement.