Hi! My name is Elena.

I am a student at Chatham University, studying sustainability and journalism. I am also a distance runner on the cross country team. The things I enjoy most in the world are reading, running, nature, and exploring new places!

Irazu Volcano, Costa Rica, May 2018

This summer I am spending 10 weeks is Pedasi, Panama working as an intern for an organization called Azuero Earth Project. In the past, the Azuero Peninsula has been deforested, leaving the vital ecosystems vulnerable to natural and human degradation. Azuero Earth works to restore the native ecosystems in the peninsula through reforestation, community outreach, and education.

Currently, the Azuero Earth Project is working with the local artisans to help them to more sustainably create their traditional art. While I am an intern, I will be assisting in the development of this project. I will be creating a map, using GIS (geographical information systems), and a guide for the artisans, which will direct them on how to sustainably harvest the natural resources necessary for their handicrafts. Much of my work will involve collaborating with the Azuero Earth team to create the map and guide, but I will also be doing field work to restore and replant some of these natural resources. Follow my blog to stay updated on my experience in Panama!