Blog by Nayelie Lopez
On my spring break I had the opportunity to go to Zion National Park, Arches National Park, and the Grand Canyon with Environmental Learning for Kids. It was a week that I will never forget because their was so many memories and bonds that were made. On this trip that I was honored to go on I went on an adventure with 8 other students from different schools. We got to go and do three service projects that helped me realize how badly we mistreat a gift that is given to us. It was sad to see that we are given these beautiful parks that are here for us to learn about our past and to sit back to view beautiful scenes. Especially since while I was there we would be hiking or even just walking around picking up trash and then looking around took my breath away no matter how long we were there for because every time you looked around you saw something new. Also, while hiking I would take deep breaths and smelled nothing but nature which I feel now a days you don’t get because so many building are being made, therefore trees are being cut down and don’t have that ability as often as I would like. Then when I looked at these massive rocks it was just so breath taking because the history or the things they do were incredible. For example, in the Narrows our guide told us that this certain rock that is popular there took in water and stored the water which then was the reason why water was constantly dripping with water even in the hottest days and with that water plants are formed on the rock using that water. But besides all these beautiful parks that we got to see we had the chance to sleep in tents. This was something that pushed me out of my comfort zone due to the fact that I have been camping before but with family and it I have been camping we used so many modifications than when I went with ELK. Therefore, for me it was different and out of my normal comfort zone. However, I am so grateful because now I know how to camp more like others in the past used to before mattresses and tent heaters were created. In addition, when we were out there we went on outstanding hikes that I can say are the best because the reward is the best you can ask for which is the view. Yes multiple obstacles had to be made. For example, I had to hike where there was big heights, but then once we done with climbing and I looked back I was able to say I hiked that and got to see the most beautiful scene ever. When we were over there we had the ability to talk to people that worked in the National Parks and hear their experience of how they got to where they are today. This was so eye opening because before this trip their career wasn’t a career path that I felt was something I can do or a path that was opened to me. It was so amazing that for everybody had a different story. This was so helpful and made me feel as if I were able to do anything because for me I come from a family were college isn’t finished. My family will start college but won’t get a degree, therefore being able to see that there is so many different careers for whatever you are skilled in and like doing. Especially when I heard this women talk about her experience and she had mentioned that she had the hardest time getting herself to believe that she can shoot a gun. This really shocked me because I was thinking of going into a career that would have me to have to deal with a gun and I took that career off my list right away, but then when I heard this women talk about the challenge it inspired me to believe that I can do it. Also, this experience opened up so many doors for me because I found out that there is a position to be around nature which I would love to say I work for in the future that deals with creativity and art skills. This really caught my interest and blew my mind because I didn’t know that these two skills could be put together. So overall this trip was like a roller coaster of emotions because it hit my thoughts and emotions that I had hidden because I thought I wasn’t going to have a future that was full of me doing something I love and want to wake up to everyday. However, this trip was crazy fun I got to know others staff and the students that went with me. We laughed so much and all faced challenges together. I can’t say I regret something, all I can say is I learned more about me and the world.