Written by : Emily Deanne
Walking into Osa Conservation’s DC Office on a sunny day in August I did not realize I was embarking on a new chapter of my life. I was certainly excited to see what the office would look like. I sincerely wondered if the goals of the organization would be reflected in the office’s atmosphere. I was not disappointed as I entered a warm and cozy floor filled with bright colors and images of the rainforest and its breathtaking wildlife. My personal favorite would have to be either the picture of the soaring macaws or the duck calendar. I instantly was soothed, and knew I was in the right place. As an undergraduate at The George Washington University majoring in Environmental Studies, I am extremely passionate about environmental issues and conservation. Osa was the perfect fit for me. Suddenly I was immersed in the world of protecting nature, which is right where I have always aspired to be.
Throughout my time at Osa I was able to actually make a difference in the environmental world by helping to preserve the Osa peninsula. I think my favorite part of my internship at Osa was the outreach work I did. By spreading the message about our stations in Costa Rica I knew I was bringing awareness to our efforts and potentially encouraging another student or researcher to make the trip to the Osa. With each new person who learned our conservation message I felt as if real change was being made to protect the most biologically intense place on the planet. I never imagined that I would get along so well with everyone else in the office. It seems that caring about the environment attracts a certain type of person, one who is open, friendly, caring, and engaged with the world around them. I loved talking to and learning from everyone in our office, the neighboring Amazon Conservation Office, as well as our staff down in Costa Rica.
My fellow intern, Parita, and I shared a special bond and I am so thankful that my internship not only gave me professional contacts but good friends as well. In this position I gained a better understanding of how an environmental non-profit functions which is extremely valuable experience for me because working for an organization like Osa has always been a potential career path. I am now better prepared for another internship or even a job that involves non-profit work, communications skills, tropical ecology research, or conservation work. It was so refreshing to be doing work that I could directly see the positive results from. In this role I was helping to improve the larger world and make a significant impact on the wildlife, people, and environment of Costa Rica. When I walked into the Osa office I knew I was doing something that mattered and that made all the difference.
Photo Credit : Manuel Sanchez Mendoza