My name is Tahmoor Felipe Chadury and I am interning with the Latino Heritage Internship Program (LHIP) in partnership with Environment for the Americas this summer (2020), at Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites.
How did you get involved with your internship program?One of my advisors at Ohio State University knew about the LHIP program, and because I am studying history and biology, urged me to apply. I like that the folks at Salem were trying to make the park inclusive for all and building bridges with the Point neighborhood (El Punto), the adjacent majority Latinx community. Because of that, I chose Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works to be the sites I went to.
What inspired you to choose an internship with the National Park Service?I've always loved being outdoors. In high school, I had two consecutive internships in New York City's Central Park and I loved every second of them. I've been fortunate enough to visit a decent amount of National Park Service (NPS) sites and have always wondered what it'd be like to work at one. Through this internship, I hoped to get much needed experience as well as become resolute in my career path.
What does your job involve?Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, my internship this summer has been made completely virtual. Nonetheless, my coworkers and supervisors have been very supportive and have provided ample things to keep me busy. Throughout my internship, I've sat in on all staff calls and participated in weekly Visitor Experience and Community Engagement (VECE) meetings. As with most internships, the first few weeks consisted of various training. As everyone began getting more comfortable with the virtual medium, my internship started taking shape. My original project was to reinforce a partnership between the North Shore Community Development Coalition in El Punto and the National Park Service, and assist in developing some future bilingual programs. However, due to COVID-19, that project was put on hold. Instead, the last few weeks I've interviewed a few of my coworkers in an effort to get to know them better, learn what the path to their current position has been, and share that with the public online. Before the end of my internship, I hope to publish a few more staff interviews and perhaps do some research on the Latinx history of Salem.
What is the most rewarding part of your internship?The most rewarding part for me has been the connections I've made thus far. Though video calls could never replace in person meetings, I do feel like I've gotten closer with the people I worked with. If all goes well, I hope to return to Salem next summer for a more traditional in person internship. Getting to know everyone, already having strong bonds in place, and learning about Salem and New England's history will allow me to begin next summer with a huge head start.
What would you like to share with other people who may be in your job or in stewardship?Out of the myriad of things I've gained during this internship, the most important one is the ability to keep an open mind, especially when dealing with the unexpected. There have been a number of times where I've been working on a project and I've had to put it on the back burner in favor of something with a more pressing deadline. This is definitely something I had to get accustomed to; in college I am used to working on a set task and then moving on to the next upon its completion. I will definitely make use of this skill in both my future academic and professional life.
What are some examples of your work with the National Park Service (NPS)?"Careers in the National Parks: Maryann Zujewski," is the first in a series of articles I wrote about NPS staff. For my first article, I interviewed my supervisor, Education Specialist, Maryann Zujewski. You can view my upcoming articles online by visiting Salem Maritime's Staff and Offices page.
Latino Conservation Week (LCW) highlights the Latinx community's passion for conservation. This LCW, what do you want to protect?This Latino Conservation Week, I want to protect the lesser known National Park Service sites. Sure, everyone knows about the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, but places like Isle Royale National Park and Olympic National Park deserve to be protected just as much!
Last updated: July 20, 2020