Latino Conservation Week at El Malpais and El Morro National Monument

Hi Everyone,

For the most part these past couple of weeks have been rather calm. I’ve been working on the project that I’ve been assigned to. So my work so far has consisted of interviewing various people, transcribing and compiling the information I gather. Well last week on Friday, I got to go to an event called Ancestral Lands day in celebration for Latino Conservation week. It happened in El Morro and it went from the morning to around 3 or 4 pm in the afternoon.

I am so happy I got to go to the event. After I had set up my booth, I helped other people from the event cook and set up for lunch time for the event. While I was grilling the burger patties and the hot dogs, I was able to talk more with the different people there. As lunch time approached closer, I helped set up the table with all the yummy food for the event like the toppings for the burgers, the chips, the dip, and the drinks.  As all the kids and adults came back from hiking El Morro, we started to serve the food. There were so many kids with their parents in line that I decided to start giving each of them a slice of watermelon to eat while they waited. Once we were done serving and everyone was eating, we got to see a special performance put on one of the local tribes people. They performed a special dance while 2 other men played some instruments. After that, one of the men talked about how he decided from a young age he wanted to be famous. He grew up and learned his tribes instrument and was able to travel all over the world playing his music. He talked about how important it is to learn ones own culture and language in order to pass it on. After his talk, someone from the Hiking club came up and gave out awards to the children and some of the participants from the program. Once everyone finished eating and receiving their awards, they walked and explored through the different booths that were set up.

The whole point of this day was to expose and show the different careers all these kids can take in the National Park service. I explained to many kids and adults the program I was in and the project I was working on for the National Park Service. I was also fortunate to give some goodies from Columbia and Hispanic Access Foundation to the children. They brought a special throwing stick for the kids to throw at a target. This is a special long wooden stick with a pointed end that was used back then. Everyone got to try it and the kids loved it. As the day came to an end, we had to hurry and pack everything because a storm was starting to set up. You could hear the thunder and see the lightning from the El Morro Monument. It was an amazing sight. I feel lucky that I was able to go to this event and meet all these amazing people.

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