16 Jun TRAILBLAZER: POLE WITH A BUNCH OR ARROWS ON IT – UN POSTE CON UN MONTÓN DE DIRECCIONES
¿Cómo están todos?
How is everyone doing?
I know times continue to grow more complicated and complex and at times overwhelming, so I hope everyone is doing what they can to stay healthy, safe, and educated.
On June 9th, Deputy Director David Vela, of the National Park Service, issued a statement addressing the issues of equity, justice, and the fight against systemic racism. In the statement he writes, “The National Park Services commits to lead change and work against racism.” Reflecting on his words this week, as well as on those voices who have spent years being silenced, really got me wondering about the voices connected to the Anza Trail expedition.
I began to question whether the work I am doing with the Anza Historic Trail is even relevant to the current events or am I just sitting in front of a computer screen shielding myself from the chaos happening outside my window? After much reflection, questioning and conversations with my team (aka my mentors Christopher and Naomi, shown in the picture below), I came to terms with the fact that my work is meant to highlight those hidden stories and educate about why they are even relevant in the first place. Sure, these are stories of colonization but they also hold stories of people of color trying to create a better life for themselves and their families through the journey, they hold stories of indigenous communities being transformed and land being stolen, they hold stories of how to move forward and heal while never forgetting what happened in the past.
And you might have just read all of this and thought, well none of that sounds positive or maybe why should I even care? And I can admit, I felt the same way a few weeks ago. But I do not want to let these stories go untold, I do not want our communities to continue to be overlooked, I do not want those voices to be silenced anymore. I care, because if not, who will?
Imagine this, you’re at the beginning of a hike, you’ve passed the trailhead and you’re less than a mile in when you come across a trailblazer (or a wayfinding sign, or a pole with a bunch of arrows on it, whatever name works for you…) and now it is time for you to make a decision. Do you go right, left, or turn around and go back from where you came from?
Hasta la proxima.