30 October 2020

Blog Post 1: My New Community

Written by: Abraham Elmir

After joining the Forest Service for a little over a month now, I have gained a sense of appreciation for my mentors and the watershed planning staff that I work alongside.


As a Water Resource Assistant, my responsibilities of working on a regional project for water rights and uses have become a significant task in furthering my professional development and helping all of Region 3’s national forests. With this demanding task, arise new challenges that have gotten me questioning my capabilities as a resource assistant and my decision to come to New Mexico. Will I be able to meet my office’s expectations? Will I cope with living in New Mexico during a pandemic for a whole year? How can I make the most of this experience? Well among this uncertainty, one thing that I can say for certain is that I have coworkers looking out for my wellbeing here at the Southwestern Regional Office. Even before Day 1 at the office, I have been treated with the upmost respect and generosity by my mentors Joaquin Baca and Roy Jemison. Whether it was helping me move into my new apartment or recommending new programs and projects in the Forest Service, all I can say is I am grateful to have not one, but two mentors who are helping me better myself in and out of the office.

Joaquin for example, is an organized mentor who checks on my status weekly if not daily on my project as well as teach me new techniques in leadership and time management. Even though he is also new to the Forest Service (he recently left the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), he has shown high amounts of professionalism in his job as a water coordinator and the same amount of kindness when inviting me to join him in exploring New Mexico. After the first week, he invited me to camp with him and his kids at Pilar, New Mexico, alongside the Rio Grande.

With more than 30 years of experience working with the Forest Service, Roy has been an excellent resource when learning about the organizations and the many opportunities available to me as a Resource Assistant. Roy was also the first person I met in New Mexico after arriving at the Albuquerque airport. Before I was able to buy a car in New Mexico, Roy was kindhearted enough to pick me up from the airport, drive me on occasion to get groceries, and even help me on the day that I bought my car. In a way, Roy reminds me of my grandfather: a man with a brain full of wisdom and heart full of compassion. Whenever I can, I try to return the favor by offering him to come do activities with me such as hike up the mountains in Cibola National Forest to see the vibrant colors of leaves during the fall. The cover photo for this blog was taken by Roy during our half-day hike.

The watershed planning department staff that I work alongside have also been nothing but ecstatic about my arrival in their office. While most of them are at least a decade older than me, they are always fun and easy to talk to during our weekly office meetings.

All in all, my mentors and coworkers have given me confidence that the decision to work here in New Mexico was the right one. Albuquerque and New Mexico are both interesting areas with their pros and cons. Even so, as long as I have a community of caring and responsible people who look out for me while I am here, then I have nothing to fear.

Agency: U.S Forest Service

Program: Resource Assistant Program (RAP)

Location: Southwestern Regional Office

About Us

Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

Contact Us