28 May Lesly Caballero from CA to Washington DC
Hola, my name is Lesly Caballero. I am from Sonoma County, California. I am 22 years old, and I am a student at Humboldt State University pursuing an Environmental Management and Protection BS with an emphasis in Environmental Education and Interpretation. I am elated to be part of the Latino Heritage Internship Program with Environment for the Americas and the National Park Service. This summer I will be working in the National Park Service Office of Relevancy Diversity and Inclusion (RDI) in the Washington DC office. My task this summer will be to put together a meaningful strategy and tools for outreach and engagement with the Latino community for the Park Service. This will be available online under the Relevancy Diversity and Inclusion page in the National Park Service website. In addition I will host a webinar for Park Service employees on the topic of engaging with Latino communities. My background is in outdoor environmental education and community engagement. My first internship was during my first year in college with Environment for the Americas. For this internship I did bilingual environmental education and community outreach to Latino communities promoting a bilingual nature festival at Muir Woods National Monument as part of a diversity initiative. Through that internship I learned about the issues of lack of diversity in our natural protected areas. I realized that I wanted to continue doing this work in reconnecting my community with our public lands. Since then I have involved in internships focusing on environmental education, Latino community engagement, wildlife research and environmental advocacy. I have worked with the Park Service at the Golden Gate National Recreation area, with the US Forest Service in the Chugach National Forest in Alaska, and with Hispanic Access Foundation touring National Parks in the midwest. I have also volunteered with various nonprofits doing similar work. My most recent work and involvement is with Latino Outdoors, a nonprofit made up of volunteer coordinators and ambassadors engaging Latino communities with the outdoors throughout the country. I am the regional coordinator in northern California for Latino Outdoors. I have hosted several hikes and camping outings with Latino youth and families from Sonoma County to local National and State Parks. I hope to apply my previous knowledge and experience with Latino community engagement as well as collaborate with others who have experience doing this work to create meaningful resources for the Park Service on a national level.