Nebraska feels like home

During this summer I am going to be working on a project at the Homestead National Monument of America as an intern for the Latino Heritage Internship Program (LHIP) in collaboration with Environment for the Americas (EFTA).

After spending a weekend camping at the Californian desert with other EFTA interns, getting off an airplane at Lincoln, Nebraska, and viewing all the lush, green land, I am reminded of my hometown. Being born and raised in the west part of Puerto Rico, in a small town near the mountains, I remember going to the fields and into the woods to play with my cousins. In every single memory of my childhood, the green lands are present.

After moving away to college, I experienced one of the most significant changes in my life: relocating from the countryside to the city. I attend to the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, where I am completing a major in Journalism and Modern Languages. Of course, the changes weren’t as bad at all; I was still in my country and just two hours away from home.

When the opportunity to come to Nebraska arose, I did not think of it twice and I accepted. If changes have taught me anything, in relation to my transition to the university, it is that they make me grow. But obviously, it was going to be a whole new experience and, who isn’t a bit scared or anxious about the unknown?

After getting off the airplane and taking the ride in my site, I was able to see all the open fields. At that moment, many memories came to my mind and I was transported, somehow, to my own house back with my family. As I’ve mentioned before, I was in the desert the weekend before arriving at Nebraska and everything in the desert looked very different from the island’s geography. Somehow, Nebraska looked like home.

Of course, not everything is quite the same; Nebraska is flat and has open lands and Puerto Rico is full of mountains. But the wind, the warm weather, the trees, and the green fields are similar to what you can see and feel in Puerto Rico.

The people here, also remind me of the people back at my hometown: humble and giving people, always willing to help. The sum of all these components come together to make me feel welcome and make me feel as if I am at home.

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