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Paola Bonilla: The Journey of a Latina in Conservation and Shaping Representation

Paola Bonilla has always known community service as the pillar of her path in life. Since a young age, this Boricua has felt a connection to grassroots organizations, as well as contributing with her knowledge and passion for wildlife and science.


BAY JOURNAL: Chesapeake Recreation Area Would Help Close the ‘Nature Gap’

I  grew up in the Los Angeles area, a  45-minute drive from the beach. The salt smell of the ocean, the sounds of seagulls and the cool ocean breeze will be forever associated with my childhood memories. I grew up under the assumption that visiting the coast was my right.


AMERICAN RIVERS: River Artist Spotlight: Q&A With Susana Sanchez-Young

Susana Sanchez-Young’s illustrations are almost musical: They are catchy, buoyant, and expressive. The East Bay-based mom of two is the founder of The Designing Chica and an art director at the Los Angeles Times.


PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE: Advocates for Hispanic Community Sponsor Free Financial Literacy Training

Free financial literacy training is now available in low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles, hosted by two nonprofits: The Hispanic Access Foundation and Thrivent Financial Services.


Latest Blog

A Hearing on Climate Change's Impact on Infrastructure

For the first few months working as a Program Analyst Fellow in the US Fish and Wildlife Services’ Infrastructure Management Division, I primarily dealt with records management. However, I had the opportunity to go to a Senate Budget Committee Hearing regarding the fiscal consequences of climate change on our nation’s infrastructure. I was excited to go into the Dirksen Senate Office Building and see where our representatives discussed relevant issues. One amusing aspect of the experience was being led through the tunnels underneath the building that contained a barbershop, a cafeteria/coffee shop, and other services you wouldn’t expect to come across in a government building.


Same City, New Experiences

Having grown up in the Washington D.C. area I have grown accustomed to meeting and being inspired by all the amazing movers and shakers surrounding me. I would have never thought that I would one day get the chance to work alongside them. Thanks to both the MANO Project and USFWS (US Fish and Wildlife Service) I get the chance to put my foot in the door and pick the brain of people continuously working to improve both the local community and communities all over the United States and territories. 

On my first day I was greeted by two other fellows whom I will be working alongside this upcoming year. We quickly made introductions and were then whisked away into the city to meet none other than the Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System for USFWS. Meeting Cynthia Martinez and grabbing lunch with her was both an intimidating and eye-opening start to my first day. Being able to listen to her journey with USFWS and receiving invaluable advice for our own journeys within the department helped set the tone for the beginning of our fellowship.

Over the course of the next few weeks I was able to meet even more people from both USFWS HQ as well as people from all over the country. I have attended meetings with the entirety of my department, listening in and participating in both monthly all-hands meetings and informational lectures from visitors both nationally and internationally. I have met with my mentor who has helped me plan out my roadmap for my fellowship and helped in making introductions with other who might help in my development. Finally, I have met multiple other fellows and interns within the MANO Project and other organizations. Getting to know the people that are in, or started in, the same position I am has helped me think about what I want from my own fellowship and has created a sense of community within the office. 

I can not wait to see what this next year brings in this city I call home!

How Birds Connect Us - My First Month is the US Fish & Wildlife Service

The start of my internship has been very welcoming and eventful. It has been filled with opportunities like sitting in a Senate Hearing and meets and greets with dozens of people including other interns/fellows and even chiefs of different branches of the Fish & Wildlife Service. I even ended up receiving a challenge coin from the head of the National Wildlife Refuges.


Tie Your Laces & Fill Up Your Water, It's Time To Hit The Trail

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and to see what my life as a Hispanic Access Foundation MANO Project Intern is like! 


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Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

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