joy magnetism: Holla from San Salvador! - Guest Blogger, Save the World Sister

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holla from San Salvador! - Guest Blogger, Save the World Sister

Magnet #1013 - Las Tortugas Marinas

How exciting! I've got a guest blogger from El Salvador!

Ok, technically she's by way of DC, and by way of my sister being there on a work trip. And technically, the magnet's not quite in my grubby little hands yet, but by way of Christmas, it's coming!

So, yeah, here's STWSis, blogging all the way from El Salvador, where she's off, well, saving the world...

By way of sea turtles!
- joy

Hola desde San Salvador, El Salvador. El clima es soleado y cálido! Estoy aquí para trabajar, pero tienes que venir para la diversíon. (Hi from San Salvador, El Salvador. The weather is sunny and warm. I’m here for work, but you should come for fun.)

That about sums up my Spanish…or I cheated and used Google translate (is there anything Google can’t do for us!?). For reals, though, I’m here in San Salvador for the week to help start the closedown processes for my project. What does that mean? I’m motivating staff and training them in how to pack boxes and organize files. Yes, folks, this is what my job entails. But the upside - I get to work with a great local staff and see a new country.

I’ve been here a few days and I think I like El Salvador. It is my first time in Latin America and I can only compare it to the other foreign countries I’ve been to. It’s a bit like the Philippines, which if you ask Joy or either of her sisters, will give you probably very different opinions. It’s warm when my DC-based mind tells me it should be freezing - though not as disgustingly hot as the PI. It’s traffic-y, though not as jam-y as Kathmandu, Nepal. And it’s nothing like Uzbekistan, though, no other place seems to be like that.

The people are super nice. I love my project staff. They are really patient with me (if you know me, my mom would say this is key) and helpful considering my Espanol consists of whatever Senora Adams taught me in elementary school and the two semesters of elective Spanish I took at Carolina.

This project has done so many great things and everyone on staff is sad to see it close. One of the project’s main activities has been the conservation of sea turtles (explains the magnet, the translation is “I Protect Sea Turtles”). We (I say we, but really, I just push the papers of the people that actually do the stuff) have been changing the people’s thinking on sea turtles.

Before, people would eat sea turtle eggs – it’s what you do at the bar with friends without even thinking about it. Now, we are raising awareness that sea turtles are an important part of the sea and the aquatic life cycle. We offer money to people who collect sea turtle eggs and give them to us rather than putting them on the market for consumption. We take the eggs and keep them safe in hatcheries so that the little baby sea turtles can make it to the ocean to live.

To raise awareness, our project made a documentary about the important role that sea turtles have and why we should protect them. The film just won best Spanish language film at the Blue Ocean Film Festival in Monterey, CA, out of a field of 349 films!

If you’re a Spanish speaker (and everyone these days seems to be except for me and my knowledge of odd languages), you can watch the documentary here:

Part I:

Part II:

While I only have a few days here in San Salvador (just one week!), I’m really glad that I got to come out and work with such great people. Also, I’m going to a turtle release on Friday! So I’ll get to see the kids and adults enjoying the little baby turtles crawling to the sea.

And that, my friends, is why I chose this career.

No comen huevos de tortuga marina! (Don’t eat sea turtle eggs!)


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Katie said...

Yay for guest bloggers! Cute magnet too!

joy said...

Oh, Katie! I'd love to have a real-live NPS ranger do a guestblog, if you have a magnet you want to shoot my way. I'm just sayin'. You don't have to tell 'em you're an NPS. But, I do have a Prince of Wales/Waterston magnet, if you blog that one...No pressure, obvi. :-)