Celebrating Latino Conservation Week with Storytelling through Art

Latino Conservation Week provides an opportunity for Latino communities to engage and come together to pursue their passions for our natural, cultural, and recreational resources that many national parks provide. This pop-up table event I created was by far my favorite part of my internship at Salem Maritime National Historic Site. My pop-up table was located at the Salem Armory and Regional Visitors Center building, where an average traffic flow of 1,300-3,000 people would come in on the weekends. I dedicated my time to print out the stencils, steps, QR code, and supplies for visitors to take home in Ziplock bags. I also added the idea to add social media into this project, where once the visitors created their faceless doll, they can tag Salem Maritime’s Instagram page for us to see. The Dominican Faceless Doll concept was presented to me while I was working at the visitors center, there was an exhibition of this art project for the month of June. However, since it was mid-July, I didn’t want people to forget or not know about the Dominican Faceless Dolls concept. While I was creating my own faceless doll, I was very nostalgic in deciding how to decorate it. Part of the steps of creating this art project was to reflect on what you remember while growing up. I wanted to present my Mexican heritage into my doll and add little concepts that I celebrate with my family. I wanted people to experience this same feeling, even if they weren’t from a Latinx heritage background. I wanted the faceless dolls to be for everyone, and I also wanted people to ask the question about “What is Latino Conservation Week?” and “Why do we celebrate it?”. Overall, I am proud to say that I have made 50 take home bags and all of them were gone by Sunday morning of that weekend. I even made 10 extra bags and those were also taken from visitors. I look forward to see people’s faceless doll and hear their story behind their art. On the picture of the faceless doll, I want to highlight that another intern from HBCUI, Heidi Hankins, also created her faceless doll (on the left).

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