Heading into my last week and saying goodbye – Maya Rodríguez

My last week at my internship is such a bittersweet moment. This whole summer has been such a journey, as I met new people and got to see different sides of the NPS and the bay that I’ve never gotten to see before. I am grateful for the opportunity to present my summer work at the Career Workshop and to see the work of my fellow LHIP peers. It does feel a little sad since this week long event was supposed to be in person, but the virtual setting was enjoyable regardless. We got to hear so many inspirational guest speakers. I got to hang out with some amazing people in the outdoors and visit so many parks in the Watershed. Honestly, I never expected to get a position where my identity as a Latinx woman and my passion for nature intersect. It’s been a wonderful work experience that will be hard to follow up. I hope to continue my work into NPS and conservation especially when it comes to including communities of color in these conversations. I also hope to see the diversity of the Latinx community represented in the future, with more Indigenous and Afro-Latino representation. It’s essential for the future of sustainability for there to be an understanding of the nuance of identity. There is a tendency to view minority groups as a monolith and not offer a intersectional understanding of these groups. Every person’s lived experience is different and to recognize this means to incorporate their voices in the general discussion.

Thank you so much for this experience and all the people that made it such a unique internship position.

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