Displaying items by tag: Washington Support Office, Archaeology Program
Thursday, 27 June 2019 15:28


What is 563 years old, Latin, & on display at the Library of Congress?

You guessed right, it’s the Gutenberg bible!


Twas the year 1455, when Johann Gutenberg decided to print one of the very first books on his very first mechanical printing press. On that day, the dispersal of knowledge and circulation of wisdom changed for the good of humanity. 


During the last couple of weeks, I have had the honor to do research at the Library of Congress (the best building in D.C. if you ask me) and whenever I am there I tend to reflect on past events and how they shaped the world we live in today. 

I myself am not just infatuated with old books but am fascinated with what the Gutenberg bible symbolizes. It reflects the transition out of the Dark Ages into an era of curiosity and skepticism. It allowed people to question outdated ideas and rediscover history to tell it from a different perspective.


This week I had the pleasure to talk to Sienna (one of our LHIP interns) about the Santa Fe Trail and the Hispanic traders in Fort Larned, Kansas. The discourse of the trail in Kansas is usually highlighted as an Anglo trade route and many people do not know the deep Spanish roots that ignited the economy. I will include this story in my project as well as many other stories that highlight how Hispanic and Latino stories are deeply rooted in U.S. history.

I bet Johann Gutenberg did not think I would be the one telling tales of lost history but thanks to the mechanical printing press and the dissemination of knowledge ever since, I am able to make a small yet significant difference. 

Published in HAF intern blog
Monday, 17 June 2019 13:00

Here's the Tea

My first couple of weeks at the Department of Interior as the Archaeology Junior Ranger Booklet Designer have been nothing short of a learning experience. My job for the past couple of weeks has consisted of digging deep within the labyrinth of the DOI Library archives and doing some intense googling to look for archaeological evidence of Latinx heritage within the National Park Service.

One interesting site with Latino archaeology is Big Bend Ntl Park. In 1932 FDR created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to decrease unemployment whilst conserving natural resources. The CCC built the roads and trails still used today at Big Bend. However, what most people don’t know is that out of the 200 men enlisted, 80% were Latinos. The CCC is usually portrayed as white labor history but my job is to reteach the history to include Latino laborers into the discourse of Big Bend’s history. Here is a picture of some of the workers.

Image copied from Big Bend's NPS website. 

Aside from being nose deep into research, I bike home every afternoon and pass by the Capitol during golden hour and after hours usually explore to find the best Chai tea places in D.C. (See cover photo for some delicious Chai).

Published in HAF intern blog

As a young WOC, a fancy office job was only but a far fetched dream to me. Since I was 16, I have been working in fast-paced, minimum wage jobs to support myself and my family. To me, these jobs did not seem temporary, simply a foreshadowing of a lifetime full of autopilot days in unfulfilling jobs. There was no exact day I can pin point to when I realized I had the ability to change the future (DeLorean?). However, I owe it to my college mentor, Dr. Lenaghan, for pushing me to see how far I can go (literally). He, myself, and my family inspired me to continue my education far from home at Boston University. A year later and here I am sitting in my own fancy office, in the extremely cold federal building of the Department of Interior, working for the National Park Service to teach kids about Latino Heritage through Archaeology. Not to mention, during my first couple of days, I have been roaming the halls of the DOI Library, opening book after book and learning about my own heritage to teach it to kids who were just like me, to be inspired to pursue careers and feel inspired to continue their education. When I walk to my office wing and see the “National Park Service” sign, I immediately feel imposter syndrome, but then I remember Melissa at 17 years old and remind myself of the hard work I put in to get here! The rhetoric has changed and I now ask myself, “what else will I accomplish within my lifetime”?

Published in HAF intern blog
Wednesday, 15 May 2019 15:00

Melissa Hurtado

Hello! My name is Melissa, I was born in Cali, Colombia, and strongly believe in interdisciplinary work. I am currently studying biological anthropology and archaeology at Boston University. My interests are but not limited to: zooarchaeology, Americas pre-Columbus, population genetics, and primatology. I'm currently conducting research at the BU Zooarchaeology lab on Northern Fur Seal remains from a site in Kodiak Island, Alaska to try and better understand past environments. I have a strong passion for what I do because it allows me to be in flux and search for alternative solutions to complex questions. Aside from school, I enjoy a good bike trail and some quality live jazz. On the side, I shoot film and have a project that gives women (mostly Latinas in Miami) a platform to speak on what being a woman means to them and the fluidity of the definition. In Miami I lived in Homestead which is in between Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park, so I frequently visited them both to bird watch and bask in nature. My hopes in the future are to inspire other Latinos and bring a new perspective to the sciences, specifically archaeology and anthropology.

Published in Intern Bios
Thursday, 29 November 2018 15:24

Rebecca Renteria

Rebecca Renteria is a graduate student in the Applied Archaeology (MA) program in the School of Anthropology and the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona. She received her BS in anthropology with a focus on archaeological sciences and minor in geosciences also from the University of Arizona. Her research regards methods of identifying ethnicity, specifically Hispanic and Anglo, in the archaeological record in her area of focus in western New Mexico during the homesteading and Dust Bowl eras. Rebecca is a LHIP intern working with high school students and educators through Linking Hispanic Heritage Through Archaeology in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona. This program aims to provide outdoor and university experiences to local students and educators through visits to archaeological sites and university labs and field schools. She hopes to continue doing this type of program development locally and across the country with underserved communities with the goal of using archaeology as a platform for education, empowerment, and community-based cultural resource management.

Published in Intern Bios