Escuchanos, We Need to Talk Series for Latino Conservation Week.

I am 8 weeks into my internship and wow! Time has flown! In the last week I have been partnering with my amazing mentors Gaby and Brittany to plan our events for Latino Conservation Week. 

We are putting together two panel discussions for Latino Conservation Week. One of the panels is a youth round table that will discuss the experiences of the young Latin(X) individuals in Conservation. The second panel will be a conversation on inclusivity in Chesapeake Latin(X) Communities. I have no doubt in my mind that both of these panel discussions will be amazing! In the last few weeks we have gathered speakers from the East Coast to speak on the topics of how we can better engage and meet the needs of the communities.

Something I have quickly learned through Anthropology, and continue to learn through my internship is the interconnectedness of the topics of inclusivity, diversity, conservation, climate change and many topics one might not think diversity is connected to. I love making the connections between issues of diversity and stewardship but I also love to acknowledge health and well-being to climate change and population. Gentrification. Marginalization. All these topics are interwebbed to diversity and it is CRUCIAL to learn how to make these connections in order to make change. 

Overall, it has been an amazing 8 weeks. Although I did not expect to work remotely from my little jungle (my room), I am still having a very unique experience that I am significantly grateful for. 

One last topic I want to mention is my community engagement plan Lost in the Parks. I have interviewed NPS rangers across the nation from Yosemite, Sequoia, and even an amazing Regional Cultural Anthropologist from D.C. Also, I interviewed the two amazing Co-hosts Matt and Brad Kirouac of Hello Ranger Podcast! I have been a big fan and long-time listener of their previous podcast Parklandia where they talked about their experiences within and around National Parks in their RV. This year, Matt and Brad decided to take their podcast in a different direction and discuss National Parks and celebrate the communities that are also experiencing the National Parks! Our conversation went so enlightening and inspiring. They also asked to interview me for the Hello Ranger podcast so I am beyond thrilled for what is to come!!!

I am so excited to share the powerful messages they have to say! Talk to you all soon! 

Best, always, 

 West Coast Girl, Sheila. 

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