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Activism

Activism for Esperanto

This page is designed for people who are or want to be active about spreading Esperanto in the United States.

  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Informational materials
  • Jim Henry has written an excellent guide on hosting a convention: Kongreso Handbook

How to Find and Use a Local Esperanto Club

There are well over 50 local Esperanto Clubs in the United States. A completely list organized by state can be found at the ELNA website: Local Clubs. Local clubs allow the student of Esperanto to practice listening and speaking in friendly, realistic environments. In addition to being fun, one of the great benefits of a club for the beginner is the ability to learn for more experienced Esperanto speakers. Club activites range from lectures to formal study to informal chatting in both English and Esperanto. Esperanto speakers tend to be
highly educated and interesting people.

Tips on Starting an Esperanto Club

If your town doesn't have an Esperanto club that meets your needs, why not start your own? You don't need anyone's permission to start a club! Here are some tips for forming a club:

  • Use this free website to create blog, static pages, or other content.
  • Get a website! Since this can now be done free through many services, this should be a problem, and you (and other Esperanto speakers in your area) may be surprised when you Google "Esperanto My-town" and find each other through your website.
  • Start a mailing list or a Yahoo group for your club. This is a good way to organize things at the beginning.
  • Don't worry about officers or formal structure until you think you need one. The Austin club still doesn't have one!
  • Consider meeting weekly instead of monthly. This can strengthen both the rate at which you learn and the attendance of the meeting.
  • Be friendly to beginners. Try to make beginners feel comfortable, and don't intimidate them by speaking more Esperanto than they are ready for. Ask them what they would like out of the club.
  • Don't be surprised if local newspapers or local student papers want to write a story about you!

How to use and plan Esperanto Events

An Esperanto meeting is usually called "Congress" or, in Esperanto, a "Kongreso". Every day, Esperanto speakers meet one-on-one, in small local clubs, in regional and special-purpose events, in national conventions, and yearly at the Universala Kongreso which is a huge international convention. The national convention of the United States Esperanto speakers, hosted by ELNA, drew 95 participants from 7 countries in 2005. It is generally held in a different city every year.

These events are great experiences because they let you meet interesting people, let you hear different Esperanto speakers, and, if they are international, let you meet Esperanto speakers with whom you may not share a common language at all. (Typically, at a local club meeting in the United States, most people will speak English, but that is certainly not true at the Universala Kongreso!)

However, as E.F. Schumacher titled his book so long ago, "Small is Beautiful". Small events are much easier to organize than large ones. Why not consider hosting or attending a small "Kongreso" in your area, or around a specialty? The ELNA newsletter and website are the best places to learn of planned congresses of all sizes, and of course if you plan one yourself, please tell ELNA so that they can help you promote it.

The four most important things to remember in organizing a kongreso are:

  • Use the Internet. (Its not the only tool for promoting events, but it is by far the best.)
  • Start early. (People need time to plan and to build momentum around an idea.)
  • Give out information frequently. (It really helps to build consensus and momentum if people see regular updates about what is planned, how concrete the plans are, and how many people are expected to attend.)
  • Have fun.

The Experience of the Austin Club

The Esperanto Klubo de Auxstino (EKA) started about four years ago, in 2001. At first between 3 and 6 people met monthly in a restaurant. Later we moved to a coffeeshop, and began meeting weekly. We found that weekly meetings made it much easier for people to remember the meeting times, and gave us all a great deal more practice. As is typical, there were some people who were there almost every week and some people who would come for a while, then drop out, then come back, and so on. Eventually, the club grew to an average of 10-12 people meeting every Sunday, so we started another weekly meeting, on Tuesday nights in a pub. This lets members have diverse experiences; some people prefer a coffee shop, and some people prefer a pub. The club continues to grow and we might soon organize a third weekly meeting aimed specifically at beginners and children. The local club has been a very effective tool that each of us uses in a different way to help us learn and enjoy Esperanto. The Esperanto Club of Austin has hosted two of the three Texas-wide congresses and the 2005 ELNA Landa Kongreso.

by Robert L. Read

NASK * 2014 jun 29 - jul 8 * Summer Courses

EO Esperanto: La bonega kursaro NASK - Nord-Amerika Somera Kursaro okazos de la 29-a de Junio ĝis la 8-a de Julio ĉe Viktorio, BC, Kanado, ĉe la Universitato de Viktorio.

EN English: The excellent North American Esperanto Summer Courses (NASK), will be happening from June 29 to July 8, at The University of Victoria, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

UEA Seminario Por Aktivula Maturigo * 2014 jul 9 - 10 * Strategy

EO Esperanto: Ĉu plaĉas al vi varbi? La UEA-seminario pri Aktivula Maturigo (AMO) – N-ro 2, okazos je 2014 julio 9-10 ĉe Sidneo, Brita Kolumbio, Kanado.

EN English: Want to get the word out? The Seminar about Strategy and Practice for Informing North America Aktivula Maturigo (AMO) - number 2, will be happening 2014 July 9-10 en Sidney, British Columbia, Canada.

Komuna Kongreso * 2014 Jul 11 - 14 * Communal Congress

EO Esperanto: La Landa Kongreso okazos ĉe Sidneo, BC, Kanado, 2014 julio 11-14, kune kun la Tut-Kanada konferenco de la Kanada Esperanto-Asocio (KEA).

EN English: The Annual US Esperanto Congress will be in Sidney, British Columbia, Canada, 11 - 14 July, 2014, along with the Canadian Annual Congress of the Canadian Esperanto Association (KEA).

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