17 Jun Goodbye to my Influential Person, You Will be Missed!
I had the privilege of meeting Maria during the first 2 weeks at Klondike, and I was lucky enough to interview her before she left. Below is the bio report I wrote for Maria that was posted on the park’s Facebook:
“Please join us in saying thank you to Maria Pinto, our park’s AARP volunteer for a wonderful year of memories that will not be forgotten. Maria’s favorite memory is when she was able to speak her native language to park visitors. It amazes her, how much she has learned and loves to spread that knowledge to Spanish speaking visitors. What she likes most about working at Klondike is the ability to learn about all the parks in the nation and across the globe from visitors and our fellow park rangers. They have inspired her to travel to those parks and see them for herself in all their beauty. When Maria first started working at the park she had no idea what to expect because she was only well versed in the world of fashion. But the team here at Klondike made the career transition smooth and easy. Maria has gifted us with her amazing portraits that she has hand drawn during her time here. For her drawing is not only therapeutic but a way of making friends. Maria wants to continue to learn more about Seattle and other places, but she also hopes to go back to Bolivia her hometown. In Bolivia, Maria wants to share the knowledge she has attained to the children in schools. When asked, “when you think of Klondike in the future what will come to mind?” Maria responded, “Gold, and I’ll think of the people I met along the way who gave me hope about taking care of the planet.”
By Park Ranger Intern Tanya, Environment for the Americas’ Latino Heritage Internship Program