13 Jul Chamizal National Memorial: Trailblazers Program
Hello Everyone, as you may know from my previous blogs, I am working at Chamizal National Memorial, a small memorial to a peace treaty that resolved a border dispute in El Paso Texas, and Ciudad Juarez. We are a small park, and for this reason we do a lot of reaching out to the community. A collaborative effort by the National Park Service, and the city of El Paso to encourage kids to go to parks is the Trailblazers program. 40 upcoming 4th and 5th grade students signed up for the program and are being taken to different parks nearby El Paso. So far we have gone to White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns. I have personally had an amazing experience being part of these trips. I have been able to visit places I probably would have never known about if not for this internship.Connecting with the kids is also something I have enjoyed throughout this experience. Coming from a Latino household, I could relate with them in many ways. El Paso is over 80% Latino so most of the kids if not all are Latino. I also love seeing how much fun they have at the National Parks. Most of the kids have never visited a National Park out of El Paso. It is great to be able to learn alongside the children who also have so much to teach. White Sands was beautiful. We traveled nearly two hours to be able to the see the amazing gypsum sand dunes. I learned that they have over 200 species of insects and that some of them do not exist anywhere other than White Sands. I also had the opportunity to ride a sled down a sand dune along with all the kids. It was a learning experience I can never forget. Carlsbad Caverns was about three hours away from Chamizal National Memorial but it was worth the long drive. It was scorching hot, well over 100 degrees fahrenheit, but as soon as we walked in the cave, the temperature drastically dropped. There was a distinct smell in the air and there was so much moisture all over our surroundings. The kids asked so many questions and enjoyed their hike down the dark cave. These past two weeks have been so busy. Apart from this month long program, I have programs of my own that I conduct during the week. We also have Music under the stars on Sundays, which invite the community to enjoy a free outdoor performance in our amphitheater. We had about 15,000 people show up to the 4th of July celebration at the park. I feel like time is passing by so fast but I am definitely learning so much.