Big Trees and Big Dreams

Monday, June 26 2017 Written by
Hola todxs! First and foremost, a little about me! I am a proud Queer and Trans Xicanx individual with a passion for Science, Nature and Social Justice. My goals for this internship are: 1. To create multi-cultural and multi-lingual interpretive programs for engaging, educating and retaining more Latinx visitation to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. 2. To increase QTPoC visibility and inclusion in the National Parks Service. [caption id="attachment_10792" align="aligncenter" width="722"] Genomé at Marble Falls in Sequoia National Park.  The t-shirt reads "Community & Education & Justice & Love"[/caption]   I have completed my first two weeks as a Bilingual Interpretation intern at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks! I will be splitting my time by working at the Foothills Visitor Center one week and the Giant Forest Museum every other week. To summarize, I will be co-leading two formal programs at the Foothills Visitor Center, one is a Bilingual Jr. Ranger program and the other is a Multi-lingual evening program. I will be co-leading an informal bilingual program as a River Rover. I will be leading one weekly Spanish General Sherman Tree Talk at the Giant Forest Museum. Finally, I will be hosting a day full of events and activities on July 15, 2017, for the 4th Annual Latino Conservation Week! There is so much to do and so little time!   [caption id="attachment_10787" align="alignleft" width="505"] Giant Sequoias and Genomé for scale.[/caption]   So what inspires me to go into this field of work? My lived experiences. My family never went to a national park when I was young. I was raised in Greenfield, CA (30 minutes away from Pinnacles National Park) a predominantly poor, migrant field working community, where most people who work extremely hard outdoors, do it out of necessity, not recreation.  I grew up with Spanish as my first language and I did a lot of translating for my parents as a child, once I learned English.   What really drove me towards working for NPS was the constant alienation I felt as a Xicanx who wanted to pursue outdoor adventures and a career in a predominately White cultured space. I felt the need for connection on an interpersonal and cultural level that did not see when I went to public land spaces. I hope to be the bridge for marginalized people to feel included and welcome at national parks, and if I'm lucky, inspire future generations to do the same. Join me! - Genomé Rodriguez [caption id="attachment_10999" align="alignleft" width="580"] Mi familia at the base of a giant sequoia. Our first family trip to a National Park! (My little brother is missing in the picture)[/caption]
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