Monday, 28 September 2020 15:31

Long-Term Changes

Last week I had the opportunity to lead a Park Education program to Interp staff about my experience as a Latina in the National Park Service as well as share the work I have been doing at the park. One of these projects is the Latinx Commitment and Engagement Plan. The idea behind this document was to create something tangible, something that could be built upon and referred back to. In this document, I  offered my own analysis and observations about the lack of Latinx stewardship and engagement at both Salem Maritime and Saugus Ironworks. I  also offered ideas to change this. All of the ideas discussed and suggested in this booklet were done for, in collaboration with, or under the guidance of National Park Service Staff and members of a non-profit based in El Punto, the North Shore Community Development. After my presentation, I  was told this document could possibly be included in the appendix of the Visitor Experience live document for the park. 

My hope is for current park staff as well as future interns and staff to refer back to this document to build upon the work I have done, to keep that motivation there. I  don't want new interns to keep coming back and starting from nothing, stumping any growth that could come from a continuous plan. Below is a section of my document that includes long-term plans for the park sites. I  hope other folks looking through these blogs can look through my ideas and maybe be inspired or motivated to do some of this work at their parks! Or if anyone has any suggestions, please leave a comment down below! I  would love to hear them. 

 

Long-Term Goals

The items listed here will require more time to accomplish as they are more complex in nature and require more development.

  1. Creating a Spanish website for the Salem Maritime and Saugus Ironworks Sites. Many other park websites have an entirely different website in the Spanish language. This would most likely be an outside contractor or hire to translate the information which includes general park information, history, articles, and other content from the original site. While looking through these Spanish NPS sites, I noticed that they seem to be less developed than their English counterparts, most likely due to less content available. However, it is important to continuously update them and create Spanish content for them throughout the years just as the original English site gets updated. This isn’t just something to checkmark as done and to mark as inclusive, it needs updates and care. I will do some of the groundwork of figuring how to create a separate Spanish NPS site by contacting other parks that have these sites. Instructions for the creation of these sites will be added here.
  2. Offering Spanish tours is a great way to engage the Spanish-speaking community. Many Latinx folks may feel like the park history isn’t for or relevant to them because of the lack of understanding. However, Spanish tours are a great step towards inclusion. It serves as an acknowledgment of the local community and it’s needs, serving as an invitation for the community to come in and explore. 
  3. The hiring of bilingual and diverse employees, especially from folks within the local community. From my personal experience coming from an immigrant community and family, immigrant communities tend to feel more welcome and engaged when there are folks that look like them within a site/workplace. With this also comes a shared culture and language that makes places or events feel more inviting and inclusive. The hiring of bilingual and diverse employees can often bring in a new audience by either word of mouth or sight. It attracts folks that may have thought a place was not for or relevant to them and their experiences. These employees can also offer great insight with their own lived experiences. This can bring up new inclusive ideas for programming, research, and outreach. The hiring and willingness to support local community members with employment from the community can give the park a more local feel, with familiar faces welcoming visitors to the park. The park is already working on hiring new bilingual employees, so I hope to see this continued and maintained.
  4. The creation of physical Spanish resources, such as brochures, pamphlets, wayside panels, printed documents, etc. Just like the rest of the items listed here, offering Spanish park information is a great step towards inclusivity because it shows the Latinx community was considered in its planning.
  5. Spanish book clubs held within the community,  supported or led by Salem Maritime. This was an idea already suggested by Park Ranger Nora. Holding a book club within the physical neighborhood of El Punto, possibly in collaboration with North Shore CDC at Espacio, gives a presence to the park in the community that is actually beneficial to the residents. Whether these book clubs are hosted by a bilingual park employee or sponsored by the park, this is a great way for residents in the neighborhood to be introduced to the park. During these meetings, residents could hear about any events or programs being held at the park, as well as just generally increase curiosity and invitation to the park. 
  6. Periodic Exhibits highlighting Latinx history, work, or neighborhood. These exhibits could be anytime year-round, in partnership, or under consultation/permission with and from North Shore CDC or other community leaders. Salem residents and El Punto community members should be invited to visit these exhibitions. Ideas for pop-up exhibits are listed below
  7. Recorded and written interviews of residents of El Punto. Somehow modeled after the very popular project “Humans of New York”
  8. An opportunity to work with Punto Urban Art Museum would be to invite some of the local artists that painted the murals in El Punto to display their artwork in or right outside of the Visitor Center. Accompanied with this could be the neighborhood mural tours led by the Urban Art Museum.
  9. Once research is done about the Latinx link to/history of the park, there could be an exhibit created in the visitor center. This could include pictures, text, video, or displays. 
  10. This exhibit could tell the stories of all migration patterns seen in Salem throughout history up to the present day, including the Latinx story.
  11. “Voices of El Punto”
  12. Urban Art Displays
  13. Latinx History
  14. Stories of Migration 
  15. Continuous research on the Latinx and Caribbean link to Salem and the park site should be done just as any other research done at the park. This could initially be done through specified and dedicated park rangers in order to get the basic information and should be continued from this point forward through any park staff or outside hires. All of this information could be used for park programming, events, tours, updating park displays, wayside panels, informationals, and website content.
Published in EFTA intern blog
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
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