Wednesday, 09 September 2020 22:56

Getting to Know the Community

Towards the middle of my internship I  had the opportunity to volunteer in the local Latinx community I am outreaching out to, known as "El Punto" or the "The Point." I volunteered with the North Shore Community Development Coalition, which is non-profit based directly in the neighborhood. 

North Shore CDC invests in neighborhoods, including El Punto, to help create thriving communities. Per their website, they use their community-focused development model to invest resources into low-income or distressed neighborhoods on the North Shore to improve the quality of life for residents. They are committed to the community though affordable housing, economic and youth development, community engagement, and urban art.

I  have been in communication with a couple of their WONDERFUL staff members on their team in order to help create a relationship between them and Salem Maritime and Saugus Ironworks National Historic Sites, which I am extremely excited about! An update twill come very soon!

I recently volunteered to help distribute resident care packages to members of the neighborhood. The packages included personal care items, PPE, educational materials, diapers, feminine products, cleaning supplies, and more. This was in conjunction with the local food pantry, so residents were also able to get fresh veggies and dairy products. There was also folks there to help residents fill out the 2020 census, as this helps determine how much federal funding communities will receive for roads, schools, housing, and social programs. While I  was speaking to some of the Census workers there, they explained to me that it is often difficult to get large immigrant communities and neighborhoods to fill out the census, because many times there are undocumented folks in the community who believe they will get reported (which is false!). There is also the language barrier that keeps folks from filling the census out. All of this results in lower funding for the communities that really need it. It was really nice to see the workers out there explaining this to everyone and making sure community members filled it out!

My job during this event was to hand out the packages and to serve as an interpreter. Most of the residents spoke primarily Spanish, so while I was there I was able to help explain what was being offered and the layout of the event. I've been an interpreter all my life, from interpreting to my parents, random strangers while i've been out and about, an unintentional interpreter at my jobs working at grocery stores, and a formal interpreter at State and National Parks. So this was something I  was used to, and as always very thankful I  could preform this service to my community.

It was great to see the community coming together to help one another out. Just as I mentioned in my last blog post, I  felt very at home. Hearing the jokes, the community members speak to each other, and the loud music all felt very familiar to me. Everyone was so thankful and friendly during the event, it made me so happy and proud to be part of the beautiful Latinx community. Overall, this work is definitely something I will be bringing home with me and encouraging others to do!

Published in EFTA intern blog
Wednesday, 09 September 2020 22:23

El Punto Urban Art: An Invitation to Explore

Around the corner from Salem Maritime National Historic Site, there is a lively neighborhood filled with art, music, and history. Describing itself as an "Open Air Museum" by the Punto Urban Art Museum and located in “El Punto” Neighborhood in Salem, Massachusetts, the museum features 75 large-scale murals created by 30 world renowned and 25 local artists. To give some extra background, El Punto is a neighborhood that has a large Latinx community, which is largely Dominican but with Puerto Rican and Central American populations as well. 

I was able to find a little taste of home within the El Punto community, which I  appreciated being so far away from home. While walking through the neighborhood, I heard familiar sounds of Bachata, Merengue, and Reggaeton blasting from apartment complexes and cars passing by. The language of home rang through my ears. Smiles and laughter of the people walking around spoke for itself. The art pieces I came searching for, all located within a 3 block radius, add extra color and vibrancy to the neighborhood. The art found on these walls reminds me of my community. Social justice, identity, the Latinx experience, the artists’ personal lives, and the environment inspire the art found here. Community member's ideals, beliefs, hopes, and dreams are seen represented through this art. This creative freedom and expression runs rapid throughout the neighborhood through these murals.

Many of the faces in these pieces remind me of people I know. My family, friends, and neighbors are reflected in this art, looking back at me and accompanying me on this journey. The "Untitled" pieces by Celeste Cruz, Carly Cummings, Gabriela Marshall, and "The Farmer" by Ruben Ubiera all evoke a sense of familiarity and add to the sense of community and culture within the neighborhood.  Whether or not one can relate to the art pieces mentioned above, there is something here for everyone. One is sure to find their own meaning in any of these pieces, but there are also familiar patterns and funny characters everyone can remember. Whether it's a futuristic design, cartoon characters, nature, or encouraging messages, there's something we all recognize and can feel a part of.
 
The piece that struck me the most was definitely "The Farmer", as this reminds me of the labor of my people.  The eyes, uniform, wrinkles are all familiar. The words and paintings around it all represent the struggle and sacrifice of the hardworking farmers. Around the country there are large populations of Latinx farmworkers, especially within California. This face, this painting, is something that unites us all.
 
I  spoke to one of the folks from North Shore CDC, which is the coalition that created the program of the Urban Art Museum. I learned that one of the reasons the art is spread throughout the neighborhood is so folks outside of the community feel comfortable and curious to come into the neighborhood and explore, especially in the alley ways. Alleyways are seen as scary or dangerous, particularly in "Urban" neighborhoods, where most of the population is BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). The art was created to break these stereotypes and invite people in to the community, which I thought was so beautiful and powerful.
 
Visiting “El Punto” neighborhood felt like home, and I encourage others to explore the art here as well. To see the art pieces I  am talking about, visit http://puntourbanartmuseum.org
Published in EFTA intern blog
Tuesday, 25 August 2020 22:03

The End of an Interesting Summer!

At the beginning of April, I didn't know what to expect with regards to my summer LHIP internship. However, with the conclusion of my internship, I can say that I'm glad that I experienced some semblance of normalcy when it came to my summer. Through weekly zoom meetings, as well as near daily phone calls, I feel I grew as close as I could with my coworkers and especially my supervisor, Maryann Zujewski. Maryann was quite exhaustive in the amount of material she gave me to read and was very receptive to any ideas or feedback that I had. Though my internship was unfortunately cut to part-time due to its completely virtual nature, I believe that the staff interviews that I conducted were a great addition to my portfolio and important in illustrating how colorful the tapestry of NPS staff is. I was also very impressed with the array of speakers that virtually presented at the trainings that I participated in my last week. I was very excited to hear the interim director of the NPS speak and to hear how my co-interns' experiences compared to mine. Lastly, I'd like to thank Dalia and Susan for the immense of work they put into making sure every intern's needs were met and that they were enjoying what they were doing. My interactions with them were all very constructive and positive. If all things go well, I hope to return next summer as an LHIP intern and hopefully have a more traditional experience!

Published in EFTA intern blog
Thursday, 23 July 2020 19:16

Interview w/ Socrates Trinidad

Another article that I wrote for Latino Conservation Week drew from an interview I had with Socrates Trinidad, a Latino visitor services assistant.

nps.gov/articles/000/socrates-trinidad.htm

Published in EFTA intern blog
Thursday, 23 July 2020 19:14

Latino Conservation Week Article

In honor of Latino Conservation Week, I wrote an article detailing my experiences thus far in my internship, what I hope to gain, and how a virtual internship has changed the work I've done in the past month and a half.

nps.gov/articles/000/tahmoor-chadury.htm

Published in EFTA intern blog
Thursday, 23 July 2020 17:33

West Coast to the East Coast

Hello Everyone! My name is Maryana Carreón. I recently graduated (Class of 2019, Woot woot!) from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in Cultural Anthropology and minor in History. I am originally from the small town of Hemet, California. This week I moved from the West (Best?) Coast to the East Coast for my internship at Salem Maritime and Saugus Ironworks National Historic Sites. Here is how it's been going so far.

First off, the car ride from the airport to my apartment was an exciting one! Immediately I noticed the difference in landscape, architecture, and city layouts. There's brick and wood buildings here, yall! I've seen them in my life, of course, but they are not too common in California. Also, basements! Wow!

So far my internship has been extremely flexible in order to fit COVID guidelines. I have been in constant communication with my supervisors who have been extremely flexible and want me to have the best possible experience in this current situation. Because I just moved to Salem, I am currently under quarantine for two weeks. During my time in quarantine, I will be reading/researching the history of the area and the park, as well as attending staff meetings and virtual programs and events. Once my self-quarantine is over, I will be able to go out onto the field and do some socially distanced work! This will involve exploring both Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic sites as well as the nearby El Punto neighborhood in order to gain a better understanding of the community and history of the area.  I aim to connect with park staff, locals, and the surrounding Latinx communities in order to help create stronger relationships and encourage stewardship and engagement!

One of the goals I have for this program is to help facilitate conversation and a stronger relationship between the National Park Service and it’s surrounding communities, as well as to help inspire more Latinx stewardship and park engagement. I'm so excited for what is to come!

After my internship, I also hope to answer the age-old question: Which coast is the best coast?

Published in EFTA intern blog
Friday, 10 July 2020 16:58

The first in a series of staff interviews!

Though my internship this summer will be unfortunately completely virtual, that hasn't stopped me from getting to know the people I see in daily staff calls better. One of my projects this summer is conducting a series of virtual staff interviews for Salem Maritime's National Park Service website. My goal for the interviews are to both ask questions relating to the NPS' Monthly Messaging as well as pick the brain of staff members on their views on how to be successful in an NPS position. My first interviewee was Maryann Zujewski, my immediate supervisor, and the Education Coordinator at SAMA.

https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/maryann-zujewski.htm

Published in EFTA intern blog
Friday, 24 April 2020 00:16

Maryana Carreon

I am from Hemet, California. I am a first-generation college graduate and daughter of Mexican immigrants. I recently graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a major in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in History. I became interested in this program because I want to pursue a career with the National Park Service and I thought this program is the perfect way to combine my career interest with my cultural heritage. I want to explore the many ways the NPS preserves history and recreation. I appreciate that the Latino Heritage Program encourages the Latino community to engage and participate in conservation and preservation, as this is important and historical work that many Latinos may feel left out of or not necessarily connected to. With this experience, I hope to engage and connect communities to the National Park Service and discover/explore my own interests in this greater context of conservation and culture.

Published in Intern Bios
Friday, 24 April 2020 00:15

Tahmoor Chadury

I’m a rising senior at The Ohio State University and on track to attain a double major in history and biology. I’m a child of immigrants; my mother is Chilean, my father is from Pakistan, and I was born and raised in New York City. In my free time, I like to hike, listen to jam bands, play basketball, and spend hours looking at maps and flags. This summer, I will be an LHIP intern at Salem Maritime National Historic Site. I will be working on a grassroots outreach program that aims to make our nation’s parks more inclusive and wide-reaching for the Latino population. I hope to gain a ton of real-life experience in the coming months and make many memories as well!

Published in Intern Bios
Tuesday, 20 August 2019 18:16

Ropemaking with Ranger Brian

Since there were no preschool programs to focus on Thursday and Friday, I got to spend some time catching up on blogs, cleaning up the ParkEd materials and exploring Salem Maritime NHS. Marianna, an Education Ranger, and I walked down the Derby Wharf and went aboard the Friendship of Salem where Brian taught us how to make rope by using white cotton string and having a volunteer hold one end of the string and then putting 4 strands of the string on the machine. It’s very simple technology and took roughly 10 minutes. While one volunteer held the end of the string, another volunteer cranked the machine. The double strands twisted together, and the energy was being transferred from the machine onto the fibers and the energy continued to be stored as the rope became tighter and tighter. So much energy builds up causing the 4 strands to twist together into a rope. The job of the ropemaker is to make sure that the tension is being distributed evenly to prevent kinking and other imperfections from occurring. The last step to ropemaking is removing the rope from the machine and conditioning the rope. Ropemaking really draws up a crowd and people get super excited when they get to take the rope they made home.

They have been examining ropemaking in Salem and it has a lot to do with the shipping industry and eventually became an industry unto itself. Ropemaking industries were established early in Salem’s history and rope making facilities were called ropewalks. In 1837, there were over 50 people listed as ropemakers in Salem. By 1851, the number of ropemakers in Salem dropped to 30 and as the years went by, the numbers kept going down. The reason for the drop in number of ropemakers in Salem was because of the decline in the shipping industry in Salem in the 19th century.

After Brian did a ropemaking demonstration on Friendship, he gave his daily tour of the Narbonne House and the Derby House which contrasted significantly because of the status of wealth of the people living in the houses. The Narbonne House was built by a middle-class family and was occupied by middle class families throughout the years and was fairly small while the Derby House was home to one of the wealthiest man in America at that time, Elias Hasket Derby and it had many rooms to it and was quite grand.

Overall it was an informative day and I got to see and learn about what people’s lives were like in the 1800s.

Published in HAF intern blog
Page 1 of 3