Maya Rodríguez – Fourth of July Celebration!

July has been pretty eventful so far. My team and I went to Annapolis to represent the Chesapeake Bay Office in the parade. We enjoyed the scenery of different organizations and people coming together for a parade. We walked along the road, holding up our Chesapeake Bay signs with a couple of Caribbean dancers trailing behind us. The crowd loved our parade, with people cheering on the dancers and dancing to the music. It was a vibrant celebration. When we reached the end of the parade, my team and I set up a little Chesapeake Bay stand complete with bald eagle stickers and a coloring board for everyone to draw on. At one point, there was a slew of little kids at our table, channeling their chaos into art. Many of the parents that came up to our stand asked for Junior Ranger books for their kids to complete. We were next to a dock full of boats, so we got to see the full extent of the celebration and festivities. There were party boats coming up and down, ringing bells for everyone to hear. Everyone was enjoying the environment.

A lot of people asked questions about our job positions and goals within the National Park Service. It was a great opportunity to summarize some of the work I’ve been doing this summer and to practice my Spanish with other Spanish-speakers. I felt empowered to discuss my own experiences as a Latinx woman in this internship and to highlight the importance of diverse perspectives in environmentalism. After all, our stand was operated by mostly BIPOC employees, which sends such a strong message to the public.

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