06 February 2023

Close Out at Corn Creek Visitor Center (Desert National Wildlife Refuge)

Written by: Cristhian Flores

As I look back on the past year of my internship, I cannot help but be overwhelmed with emotions. It feels like I blinked, and it is suddenly coming to an end so quickly. Yet when I reflect on all the experiences and growth it just blows my mind to think about everything I have managed to achieve. I came into this internship with some goals in mind and I feel that I most certainly accomplished them. One of the primary goals for me was to reach out and engage with the Latino community in order to help them be aware of the resources that are available to them, being public lands. 

I was able to accomplish this goal through various different avenues to further develop a better connection with public lands. One of the first examples of this was helping out a non-profit named Get Outdoors Nevada. I was able to assist them with field trips hosted at the refuge, after school programs, library programs and community events. What is great about this organization is that they target underrepresented groups which often tended to be Latinos. Although the majority of these programs were in English, I believe having someone that looks like you gives you a feeling of representation. Outside of helping with these different programs, I was able to host some programs in Spanish myself. One of the more basic programs was hosting a Junior Ranger guided hike, this held in Spanish and from my understanding has been one of the few programs that has been held in Spanish. I also developed my very own programs about Bobcats that was also in Spanish as well.

Outside of these programs I was also able to develop content for social media in Spanish and also develop missions for an environmental education app named Agents of Discovery that was also in Spanish. This particular refuge does not have a lot of Spanish signage so I did my best to provide as much content as I could for them. I also hosted the very first Latino Conservation Week event at the refuge, which was also in Spanish. On one my previous posts I went more into depth about the event itself. Over all it was a success and I was very pleased with the turnout considering it was during the hottest time of the year. I could go on about all the rest my experiences but I feel like my previous blogs have been a great buildup for the final and last blog. I cannot thank Hispanic Access Foundation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enough for providing me with such a great experience to be able to start my career. 

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

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