First Week at Santa Monica Mountains

There were many exiting activities that I participated in this week but Wednesday’s was my favorite. We went on a field trip to the LA office, located right across from Placita Olvera, this office felt so welcoming to me. People were speaking Spanglish, eating Mexican food, and cracking jokes. In contrast to the countryside, which is mostly what I consider a very exclusive and unfamiliar space, the LA office felt a lot more like home.

Right behind the office is the Chinese American museum and they let us go explore it for a bit. When I first walked in, I saw various pieces on Chinese immigration. The one that struck me the most was a timeline of events relevant to Chinese immigration in LA and the US as a whole. The things I read were heart-wrenching, Chinese immigrants were treated as subhuman under the eyes of the law. This reminded me of the violations of human rights that are currently plaguing the southern US border. I kept thinking about how these situations are not rare instances of political crises, they are actually patterns of repeated history in the United States.

The flip side of my thoughts on this piece was the resilience of the Chinese community. Despite racist and xenophobic laws and institutional barriers they have a very large socioeconomic presence in the US. The same can be said about the Latinx community. The current administration has done so much to keep us out yet we are still here thriving. This gave me hope, both for the country, the future, and even this internship. I will create change to help my community through my work, no matter how big or small the impact, because I have the ability and privilege to do so. 

I have yet to fully explore my site since I have been training. I hope to do more of that next week. 


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