22 Jun My first week at Amistad in Texas!
Hello everyone, my name is Loreto Lopez and I’m spending my ten weeks at Amistad National Recreation Area in Del Rio Texas! Just to provide you all with some basic facts about myself: I’m 20 years old and from Montebello, CA where I’ve lived my whole life. I transferred from UC Irvine to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where I’m studying Art History and have a minor in Archaeology, and in the fall I’ll begin my senior year. Traveling from Los Angeles to Del Rio was in itself an adventure, and this whole week has been interesting to say the least. Moving from a huge city to a small town is a huge adjustment because it’s such a different environment – no traffic, lots of grass and bugs I’ve never seen before, and minimal options in places to go but all nearby. It’s also about 20 or 30 degrees hotter in Texas than it was when I left home, which is crazy! Nevertheless, I’ve been enjoying this new experience and environment because there are beautiful things here to see that you cannot find in LA. My week at Amistad got off to a slow start, but I got to get a tour of some of the park and see the variety of plant and wildlife there. I was amazed by everything I saw, especially the immensity of the park which is much larger than I anticipated – it would take more than a day or two to see the everything! A plus from my touring was that I got to see a deer pretty up-close. (I suspect it has some relation to Bambi..) On Wednesday I also got to go on a boat the first time which was a wonderful experience! I accompanied the marine biologists who were taking samples of the lake water and checking traps for mussels. It was a long, hot day but I’m glad I got to see even more of the park and even the Mexican border which Del Rio is so close to. I saw the dam built in the 60’s whose ownership is divided equally in half between the U.S. and Mexico. I also learned a thing or two about boats including what to do when you need a bathroom break. (Hint: there are none on a boat and you’re in the middle of nowhere…) Today I got the chance to talk with my supervisor about the projects he would like to me to get started on and I’m really excited to start on them. The main one, and the one I’m most excited about, is helping to create an exhibition in the Visitors Center to educate people about the lifestyle of the Native Americans that used to live in Del Rio. My supervisor wants to try as best as we can to make it interactive which I think is a great and successful way to get people interested. I look forward to seeing how it goes tomorrow and throughout the next couple weeks and I look forward to telling you all about it. I hope everyone is having a great time as well! Ciao and until next time, Loreto