Edgar Pedroza 

Class of 2018

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. My childhood was spent being shuttled between Jalisco, Mexico, and California. Now, I’m grateful that I was able to see for myself what was left behind and the sacrifices that my family made in coming to the United States. At the time, all that mattered was that I wasn’t in school and I could run free through the milpas y los mesquites. I was in awe of the lands where my parents were raised. I played in the same rivers, fields and sky that they had as children. Back in the United States, the only connection to nature I had was when we would travel far from our home, to a recreation area or park that allowed temporary access to nature. I never considered that it was possible to have a deeper connection to plants, wildlife and land than the casual relationship promoted under the vague term “recreation”. I come from a family of farmers on both my father’s and mother’s side and, despite living in South Central, my parents never hesitated to instill a deep respect and appreciation for nature.