My New Life Adventure: Daniela Alviz

Hi! My name is Daniela Alviz and I will be interning at the Everglades National Park and will be working for the Hidden Lake District of Everglades National Park’s Education Program. I first found this internship through my best friend, an Education student at Flagler College. She suggested that I apply for the internship seeing as it would be an incredible opportunity. I have never seen myself working with kids or in anything education-related, but somehow, I always work my way back into an education-related position.

I first started my university career as a Chemical Engineering student at Purdue University, after graduating high school in Miami, FL in 2014. Then, transferred to Florida International University in Miami, FL around 2016 and also switched my major to Environmental Engineering. I decided I was not really happy as an engineer, but I still had a passion for the environment and decided to switch my major one last time to Environmental Studies with a track in Natural Resources. It was a long road, but I finally found where I belong. I am extremely passionate about the environment and I strongly believe that teaching the younger generations to care about the environment, they will see how important our environment is to us.

I was born in Barranquilla, Colombia and moved to Miami through my dad’s work when I was 4. Barranquilla is on the coast of Colombia on the side of the Atlantic Ocean. Nature and being surrounded by it has always been something that is important to me and the people in my country. We have part of the Amazon within our country, so being one with nature and appreciating it is just something that comes with our culture. My parents have always encouraged us to go out and travel but to focus our tourism on nature things. We have done ziplining, whitewater rafting, dog sleds, snowmobiling, camping, coffee picking in Colombia, hiked mountains, and the list goes on and on.

Other events and people in my life have also been influential in my love for the environment and nature. I went to an elementary in Miami named after the great Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the savior of the Everglades. Every year starting from third grade until fifth grade we would go on field trips to the Everglades. We would go bird watching and the Rangers would teach us about the habitats and ecosystems. These lectures would then lead to talking about conservation and how we need to protect the environment and especially protect our Everglades because they are so special.

I have many hobbies, but my favorite hobby is hanging out with my dog, Billy. My other dog, Tiny, is around 13 years old, so I can’t really take her with me on a kayak because she gets very tired. I also love to take photos of anything, but mostly of people and of nature. I am a fan of stills. I am trying to get into taking photographs of the wildlife in the Everglades, but I think I have to study the different bird and orchid species so that I can be able to identify them.

My project for the summer is to extend the current Nike Missile Base Program for High Schoolers. Last season, the program directors received some feedback from the visitors and the teacher. Some of the feedback they received included possibly adding some quotes from people who lived during that time. This can include people in the military or some of the children that migrated from Cuba to the United States through the Operation Pedro Pan. I think the purpose of this is to add some emotion and some sense of similarity to the program. Maybe through these quotes, the students will be able to relate or understand better what the Everglades and the surrounding areas were like during this time.

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