Thanks to the Hispanic Access Foundation, I had the chance to attend the National Trails Workshop hosted by Partnership for the National Trails System in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was my first professional workshop, and the most inspirational workshop I have attended thus far. Before this I knew very little about National Trails. The workshop educated me on them and their impact on the community. National Trails have connected people for many years, originally used by indigenous communities and still used to this day.
There are many projects executed by some of the most hardworking individuals to educate agencies, nonprofits, and the public on Indigenous Communities, Native People, and Tribe lands. There were sessions held on equity, diversity, and representation in the field, crucial sessions for having important conversations. During these sessions, I learned about the Forest Service’s Equity Action Plan and its objectives. Additionally, I networked with many organizations in the nation and hope to keep these connections growing in the next couple of months.
The workshop made me reflect on my relationship with trials and how the outdoors has affected me. Growing up I did not have the best access to green spaces, let alone trails. My family and I were new to this country and living near a city we were not aware of these natural resources. I knew I loved to be outside, but I did not know I could have a career outdoors. Today, I want to make these resources available to our youth, specifically our youth of color. About two weeks ago I completed the execution portion of my master’s Inquiry Action Project, where a science teacher and I took her students to the field to collect water samples. The workshop opened doors and connections for me to grow from, and I am excited to see how they impact my future.