Spanish Build with Omar Vargas
Omar Vargas came to Free Geek in February of 2012 as the new Spanish Program Coordinator. Omar brings 10 years experience as an outreach coordinator and actor in a local theater company, and more recently worked at OMSI in their evaluation department working with exhibit developers to figure out the best way to connect the audience with the exhibits. He also has worked on several health projects, doing interviews tackling community health concerns, health issues in poor communities in Portland, and has been an active mime for 27 years.
When asked about the Spanish Build program Omar says he came in to a strong network of dedicated volunteers who teach Hardware ID, System Evaluation, Build, and work in Macland. The Spanish Build program currently operates as follows:
- Three spaces on Tuesdays and Saturdays for Hardware ID at 2:00-5:45,
- Three spaces on Tuesdays and Saturdays for System Evaluation at 2:00-5:45,
- Three spaces on Tuesdays and Saturdays for Build at 10:00-1:45.
- New Spanish tour time Saturdays at 10:30am
One of the changes Omar has made to the program is moving the Spanish tour to Saturday mornings at 10:30 am which has expanded the number of interested participants. There has been a marked increase in volunteers (and fewer open volunteer spaces) since Omar has joined us. To make it easier for our Spanish-speaking volunteers to contact us, we are currently working on offering all phone message information in Spanish.
Omar’s goals for the future include the possibility of offering one more day a week of open Spanish build shifts, as well as recruiting more bi-lingual staff and interns in order to better communicate with and welcome the Spanish speaking community. When asked what message he would leave to the Latino and Spanish speaking community he says he wants “la comunidad latina necesita entender la importamcia de reusar y reciclar, y hacer de esto una prioridad, considerando que este es el único planeta que tenemos” or, for “the Latino community to understand the importance of re-use and recycling, to bring more awareness to make it a priority, as this is the only planet we have.”
Omar has recently helped spread awareness about the Spanish Build program at Free Geek by facilitating and starring in a video made by Univision. Check it out on their website or view it below: