Hello everyone! Well this week was my official introduction to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and let me tell you, it was off and running! As soon as I entered the office, I met with Jayme Dittmar, a film maker from the University of Montana whom came down to the coast to make a short film on the California Coastal National Monument. Since I am helping conduct Black Oystercatcher (BLOY) surveys, she thought it would be great if she followed me on my surveys and filmed a bit. (Yes, you do feel like a movie star xD). With this opportunity came the chance to meet a growing and about to be established organization known as Latino Outdoors. Founded by Jose Gonzalez, this group strives to encourage Latinos to go outdoors into nature, arranging monthly hikes and backpacking trips. I actually knew Jose previously, as we both worked for the Mini-Corps program, which strives to help migrant students by providing educational support and services for them. This Sunday was all about Latino Outdoor and hiking and the aquarium. I had a great time meeting with people that came from San Francisco, Santa Cruz and even Sacramento to go hiking at Point Lobos, and watching their excitement as they hear sea lions and watch harbor seals hauled out on rocks. For having been only a few hours, it really felt like family, just exploring the outdoors.
(I honestly cannot replace the feeling with words; just that the objective of why I do what I do, was slowly turning into reality before my very eyes; and it was beautiful to see).
All experience nature a little differently. Some like it quiet and serene, while others love ooh-ing and awwing at all the wonderful sights they see. Some prefer being out in solitude, while others use nature for family activities. And culture has a lot to do with how we express ourselves, and how we personally experience nature. But the essence is, (like Jose said): ” The National Monument is land open to the public, and we are the public. We have a right to come out and enjoy these wonderful habitats. And just as we have the right, we also have a voice in what happens to them. We are messengers: we are here today to absorb and experience the outdoors, to go back to where we live, and tell them about these great nature spots that could possibly change in the future. So enjoy, learn and speak out; because its not just for us, but for future generations.”
So go outdoors Latino..
and go Latino Outdoors.