08 Jun ¡Saludos desde Boston!
When I arrived at the Charlestown Navy Yard, I was faced with the task of working with existing and developing new forms of outreach and communication between the parks, our existing visitors, and the locals in an effort to encourage visits to our park. I couldn’t help but think about what drove me to love working with communities and engaging people at our National Parks, so I nostalgically looked outside my window… My abuela who I call mami Minga took care of me while my mother worked as I was growing up. I remember gearing up to go to the park in my Barbie backpack that was clearly too big for my small body while mami Minga would drag me along the sidewalk where I would count the cracks avoiding them because that was bad luck. Once we arrived she would set up beneath the shade to divulge the juicy details of the latest gossip and I would recede into my wonderland of games with the other children. At the special parks with stories and history mami Minga will urge me to read and translate the posters. In those cases I became the expert guiding her through the parks and tours. This was the highlight of my summer vacations and hot weekends. The parks became the memories of my childhood which I hope to share with latino families and young adults in Boston. Last summer I interned and worked in the Greater Boston area so getting the opportunity to live and work in such a beautiful and welcoming site is a truly amazing. My biggest goal this summer is to get the rest of the Greater Boston community to agree. After some conversations it occurred to me that the initial obstacle in getting diverse communities to experience the history and the beauty of the parks is not knowing about them. The Charlestown Navy Yard is such a beautiful site right along the Boston Harbor a few blocks from the YMCA and it is walking distance from many popular sites around Boston. What fascinates me most is the willingness that many at the NPS show for developing new mechanisms that incorporate more diverse populations. I have begun reaching out and communicating with different latino organizations and I can’t wait to hear back from them and hopefully seeing more latinos coming to enjoy the history and parks. In my efforts I have also conversed with interpretation and visitor experience personnel in hopes that the Boston Parks can begin producing translated material that is accessible.