Last weekend was the last week of my seven wildlife bilingual interpretation sessions at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. These were provided every Sunday for four hours in hope of attracting the local Hispanic community and being more approachable to the Spanish -speaking tourists.
Overall I had 124 participants both local and out of state. I had posted flyers and personally spoken in the nearby fish processing centers, schools, church, Latino Help Center, city library, as well as, putting my advertisement on the local newspapers. Some days were better than other with a max total of 35 visitors in one day. This is still a very small number compared to the amount of visitors that Yaquina Head gets during the Summer, but it is a good start.
The visitors who participated in the talks were very thankful for the work I was doing. They were interested and felt comfortable asking questions and taking to me for extended periods of time. In return, I felt very happy that I could enrich their trips and share with them the amazing creatures living at the site. From sea lemons to seals and murres, it was great to bring awareness in Spanish. Now that the programmed sessions are over doesn’t mean that bilingual interpretation is as well, no. Every time I am on site, I make myself approachable and have given tours outside the designated days.
I feel very strongly about the site providing bilingual interpretation continuously. I think it is important to always have someone on staff who is bilingual and continue offering education in both English and Spanish. Newport has a big Hispanic community and it is important for the site to be inclusive.