Aug 8, 2012

Taking Care of (monkey) Business

I grew up in Venezuela and I understand personally how important it is to help rural communities that are usually neglected by governments and the private sector. I joined EcoLogic as a Communications intern nearly five months ago, because I can see how EcoLogic’s work creates opportunities for people and places that are usually overlooked because of a history of exclusion and political turmoil.

Before joining EcoLogic, my experience in environmental conservation projects was very limited. I did a summer internship at an environmental organization based in Washington D.C that focused solely on ocean conservation through research and advocacy. It was an eye-opening experience and my interest in environmental causes started to grow. I started gaining an understanding of how environmental policies are intertwined with economic and social ones.

A howler monkey in Honduras. This picture was taken by a staff member on a trip in January. Pictures like this are what has made working on the biodiversity catalog so fun!

The first project assigned to me at EcoLogic was to build a biodiversity catalog. My job was to research and compile a list of the threatened and vulnerable species in our project sites. Although I did not have any experience with this subject before, I thoroughly enjoyed this project! I learned, for example, about the important role that spider monkeys play in spreading seeds of trees through jungles, how the temperature of the sand where leatherback turtles nest determines the sex of the turtle hatchlings so climate change is dangerous for them, and how many species of frogs in Central America are dying and threatened with extinction because of a fungus introduced to their habitats by humans. I have been introduced to many species that are found in Venezuela as well, and yet before I started working here I did not have a clue about their existence.

The flower of the guiana chestnut tree, looking like a beautiful firework! 
Peaceful water flowers with a backdrop of a mangrove forest on the SarstĂșn River.

This last month I have been working on the creation of EcoLogic’s brand new website. It has been a team effort among staff members, interns and collaborators. I am one of two interns responsible for the content for the Spanish version of the site. The process has been fun, exciting and overall very instructive. I encourage you to keep track of the launch of the new website. I think it is going to be great!

- Daniela Guerrero, EcoLogic Intern
Daniela recently graduated Northeastern University with a Masters in Public Administration and has an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Universidad Monteavila in Venezuela. This fall she will begin work at ACCION, an international non-profit organization specializing in microfinance.

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