03 Sep ¿Pero qué puedes hacer desde otro estado? But what can you accomplish from another state?
I too ask myself this question on occasion, but there is much that I can do, and as a friend of mine recently said, what you make of this opportunity is up to you. Some days are better than others, but that is always the case in life.
The first week of August (I cannot believe it is September already. The past six months have gone by way too fast! I am getting old!!!) I, along with the rest of this Summer’s LHIP interns, participated in the week long virtual Diversity in Conservation career workshop. Over the course of four days we were privileged to have authors/artists, wellness professionals, scientists, authors, and NPS leaders share their insight and career experiences with us. Interns also actively participated in the workshop by having to present about their current -or anticipated- work at their park site.
Here is my poster presentation!
Although I was physically exhausted at the end of the week, the conference ended on an energetic and inspirational note with Franklin Cruz’s creative writing session. He is so personable and talented! I really identified with him because he is passionate about many subjects and doesn’t exclusively box his focus in one, something that I struggle with accepting is ok. Below is the poem I wrote during the writing session he hosted:
Yo escojo mi camino,
Ignorando todas expectativas.
Yo soy el río, tratando de alcanzar el mar.
Navigating concrete jungles, but finding the cracks to flow through,
Whilst simultaneously seeping into the ground
Strengthening the flora I pass by.
I am worthy of abundance. I nurture the land.
My most recent projects include making a funny video about getting outdoors during quarantine, translating my park’s campground brochure to Spanish, and translating the Junior Ranger Pledge. Special shout out to LHIP director Dalia Dorta and INDU Civil Engineer Agustin Perez Maldonado for reviewing my translations! Thank you! You can view my video here:
Last week, I also had the opportunity to join in on a Zoom call reunion of last year’s iSWOOP & POC (People of Color) Leaders at the Dunes. INDU park leadership have made a conscious effort to make “the park [more] welcoming to all visitors, including those who have not historically felt welcome at national parks” (Read last year’s full article about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at INDU). The Zoom call was filled with leaders from Indiana, INDU, and Chicago as well! Both of my park supervisors were present, and I was able to meet and speak with my park’s Superintendent, Paul Lebovitz! It was really inspiring to see so many professionals genuinely passionate about making the park a more equitable green space for all, and to see our region’s diversity reflected in leadership roles.
Oh, I forgot to mention, two week’s ago the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, visited Indiana Dunes National Park! 😀