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By Jose Maria Palandri
Published 2004-09-02 15:31:51

I am writing from Argentina to let you know that Mr. Dobson's efforts to make astronomy a subject for everyone are worthwhile. I am a math-science teacher and telescope maker (Dobson 16"-Dobson 8") thanks to Spanish-speaking astronomy forums where information is generously shared. It was from one of these forum members, poet and telescope maker Juan Menegui­n, that I learned glass could be cut with sand and a pot. That was the starting point for a very low budget telescope.

I am currently working at a primary school from a very poor area in Rosario (second largest city in Argentina) and with my 13 year-old students we have cut glass (with sand an a metallic pot), found material in the rubbish, and we are now making a low budget Dobsonian telescope (around u$15).

We have already finished 14 Newtonian telescopes (130 mm F8). These days we are organizing star parties where children show the sky to their families (many of them illiterates adults) through their own telescopes!!!!!!

Unfortunately, it was not the State that was our benefactor, but lots of Latino-Americans astronomers, among them, Mrs. Silvia Smith from www.cielosur.com who has kindly offered space web to make our project known. The complete process and photos of our low budget Latino-American Dobsonians are available at http://www.cielosur.com/recursos/recursos.htm

I would like to go on making telescopes in poor schools, bridging the gap between ordinary people and the stars. I would be really grateful if anyone could give any information on organizations which may help us. Together with my friend J. Menegui­n, we are planning to write a manual on how to build a low budget Dobsonian. We would like to call it "Everybody's Got to See This". Mr. Dobson has inspired us and given us the tools to inspire other Latino-Americans in need of cooperation and hope.