1st weeks – Christopher Para

With the beginning weeks of the internship behind me, I have learned a lot & I am grateful to be here. I enjoy meeting with my team for our check-ins on zoom and in-person for hiking meetings, which we are hoping to continue weekly. I am coming to understand more thoroughly the rhythms and movement of more professional work settings, while developing a news lens for interpretation and planning while navigating trails and park areas, with support from my supervisor. It has been pleasant to receive professional and general life perspective from mine and Eduardo’s supervisors, Christopher and Scott. Shout out to them for being open and interesting.
One of my favorite things this far has been the hybrid aspect of my work, (little less than) half in-person going outdoors for fieldwork and surveying, and working at my own pace at home/online completing more objective tasks like N.P.S. app content, research, training or these LHIP posts. I have been able to visit new spaces within the general bay area for fieldwork, so far I have visited a series of lakes and trails in Fremont, near the Alameda creek site of the Juan Bautista De Anza Trail, the Peralta Hacienda in Fruitvale, Oakland, and some closer, for team hikes like the Wildcat regional park in East Richmond. Every day I love my home state of California a liiiittle more…

My favorite solo site visit so far has been the Peralta Hacienda in Oakland, it gave a feeling of homeliness for the most part, from its exterior, services, and the surrounding neighborhood; a lot of elder community members relaxing in the shade on an early weekday afternoon, talking to their peers, some imbibing in the sun, sets of wooden palates hung with painted murals covering walls with old buffed graffiti.

Architecture/bench created in memory of the Juan Bautista De Anza expedition from 2016
Structure used for Zoom tutoring, surrounded by wood murals.

It is interesting to note the distinctions of how different groups of people use the space depending on age, locational origin (transient vs. native residents) or physical ability. The art, surrounding infographics, and interpretive signs often make reference inwardly and highlight the communities’ various Central American cultures, heritage. and local laborer stories. They also offer zoom tutoring/support, a community garden, youth camps/trips & food drives! I am excited to possibly focus on this site for one of my two independent creative projects, stay tuned, much love.

Mural in Fruitvale’s Peralta Hacienda next to a graffitero’s rendition of the Raiders logo.

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