This past week has been packed with an assortment of amazing opportunities and experiences. From sharing with other LHIP interns in Colorado to working with the Puerto Rican Community here in Lowell, there has been no shortage of excitement and energy!
This past week at the LHIP conference in Denver I was reminded of how amazing this program is and the difference it makes. It was incredible hearing all the different projects that LHIPsters are working on and the positive impact they are making within the National Park Service as well as their own communities. It was really special to see a group of Latinos/as with such a powerful will to leave their mark and make way for future generations. Latinos/as everywhere can be proud of the efforts that the Latino Heritage Interns are making in sites across the country, bringing a Latino voice and adding the missing links to our American history. It was an amazing opportunity to be surrounded by such a strong group of Latinos/as in one of the most breathtaking locations, the Rocky National Historical Park. Together we can accomplish so much for our communities and truly become catalysts for change!
Sunday was packed with a late night, or should I say very early very early morning flight (Eastern Time). Normally, I would be pretty tired, but I don’t think you can be sleepy while attending Lowell’s Puerto Rican Festival. No way. The festival kicked off around noon with lots of music, dancing, piña smoothies, and food to die for. It was an event that celebrated and highlighted the Puerto Rican community’s contribution to the cultural landscape of Lowell, with their lively and truly one of a kind Borinquen flair. I was so happy to be able to represent the National Park along with Ranger Jesus at the festival. Ranger Jesus is of Puerto Rican descent and was so excited to work at a festival that was incredibly meaningful to him and reflective of his culture. We had a really good time. We were able to bring the Lowell National Historical Park to about 150 people that stopped by our tent to make ranger hats and/or to learn more about NPS. We left at about 4 pm; the party kept on going until about 9:30pm. By the end of the night, it was recorded that approximately 2000 people attended this event. This goes to show that the Puerto Rican Community is here and proud. I was honored to be able to celebrate their heritage with them. What a truly great festival! Que viva Puerto Rico!