27 Jul Diversity in the Parks
I love my internship so far. I love living at the park, working here and even spending some free time here. It’s beautiful and it honestly even feels like an escape from reality.
But there is something that is missing… diversity.
Having been in the environmental realm of jobs for a while now I have noticed how much representation lacks in this field. I have yet to meet another person of color or anyone else who even speaks another language on the staff. Coming from a relatively diverse environment, it’s just kind of shocking and isolating to see how much diversity lacks in these spaces. This is truly the reality of the world though… At home, I was in a city, very much in a diverse space within itself but just leaving that small area I was met with all this as well. So this is not something that is new or very different but just not what I am used to. Being connected to other BIPOC really does help especially when they are people with shared cultures.
I miss home in that sense. For my culture, for speaking more Spanish with people, from even being able to make different references that people would understand. BUT I do think coming out here is just as important. Together as LHIP interns, we are actively making a difference. It might not seem like much, but in many cases it is everything. Without me, there would be no BIPOC representation here. While that is an isolating thought in many ways, it is also a hopeful one. I am able to be the representation needed here and hopefully open up the way for future park employees.
I see so much diversity in the people who visit us here, and that’s so hopeful to me too. I hope more of these visitors, especially the kids, see me and more easily see that they too could be in my position or even a park ranger. I like to think that we are sort of like the transition generation. We are actively trying to get more representation and setting up pathways for the future us and that helps me stay hopeful and happy for the future! 🙂