11 Jun Mi aventura, my pledge!
“I change myself, I change the world.” ― Gloria E. Anzaldúa
I believe every new adventure brings about a change within us. As we grow, learn and experience this adventures, at the same time we begin to change the world. We won’t see immediate change in the world, but we are planting a seed towards that change. This seed not only represents ourselves, but our ancestors, our family, our culture and traditions. Being from Arizona and coming to the east coast is definitely a big change. Starting from the 3-hour time difference, which I’m still trying to get used to. From dry to humid. From cactus to flowers and trees. From desert to water and the list goes on. However, I believe in the power of change. I think change brings about a new perspective, a new start, new ideas, new horizons, new opportunities and new friends. But the best of them all a new adventure. My adventure is called the C&O Canal at Great Falls Tavern. I remember when they told me that I was going to be working at this National Park. Not going to lie, I was a bit anxious because I had never visited it nor really knew a lot about their history. However, as soon as I got to the park it felt like home. It felt like if I had already been there before. My first instinct was to go explore, but not as another tourist but as part of the park. So I took a bike and made my way down the towpath. I was instantly amazed and taken up by the beauty of nature. I couldn’t believe why anybody wouldn’t want to come see this. As I rode my bike mile after mile I lost track of time and I can’t even tell you how far I went because I simply enjoyed it. Throughout the park I saw many people from different parts of the world, but I notice that I didn’t see a lot of my fellow Latinos. Later that day, I began to reflect about the people who I saw and all the facts about how our Latino population has the lowest percentage of visits to national parks. Then I asked myself that same question that I had asked earlier, why wouldn’t anyone want to come here? It’s gorgeous. Nevertheless, I know that there’s various barriers involve that impede this from happening, but I also know that if we work as a community we can be able to change these statistics. The Latino population is often portrait as a statistic, rather than an experience, which we all are. The term Latino means experience. We might all share a similar language or a similar country of origin, but it’s our experiences that define us. We are all walking experiences that have something to contribute to one another and if we are able to empower other Latinos to get involved, change can happen. As I begin this internship I commit to advocate, educate, and empower our Latino community, while promoting diversity in our parks.