Fighting Poverty with Passion
Things around the office are getting very busy. We have a couple LatiNola Votes registration drives coming up. It is really important for Puentes to give the Latino community a voice and to get them excited about participating in the democratic process. We are going to be registering people this weekend at a multi-cultural fest and also at the Congo Square Rhythms Festival. Also, we have two service learners dedicated to assisting our Welcoming Louisiana program this semester. Welcoming Louisiana is a branch of the Welcoming America campaign that aims to address the fears and concerns that many native-born Americans have about local immigrants. The service learners are in the process of coordinating documentary screenings of Welcome to Shelbyville and Not in Our Town that will be held on Tulane campus.
The other 25 service learners are slowly chipping away at their service hours by helping us with canvassing and tabling events. These are great ways for the students to get to know the New Orleans community better and a great way for them to get in touch with community outreach partners. So I have had my hands full with coordinating our awesome service learners, and with coordinating all the amazing Puentes volunteers who will be crucial in the success of our upcoming registration drives. Speaking of Puentes volunteers; I have been hounding them to fill out the volunteer engagement survey. Now we have a total of 25 responses! Baby steps.
Besides the professional side of my Tulane VISTA life; I had one of my best friends in town last week. She was here to run a half marathon, which she rocked. During her time here I went on my first swamp tour. T’was too cold to see any gators, but the Dr. Seus like scenery was gorgeous. Below is a photo from that.
Also, this next week another Homie is coming into town! I am feeling the love. I am also feeling very proud to be a part of the NOLA community; showing off NOLA and also learning a lot about the crescent city in the process. I have discovered some great restaurants in mid-city and read an amazing graphic novel about Katrina and the levees; A.D.: New Orleans After The Deluge. The book really gave me some perspective on the madness and devastation that took place right outside my door downtown. 18 feet of water in some places?! The restoration and recovery that has taken place is astounding. What is even more unbelievable is the resilience of the New Orleaneans themselves.
That’s all for this entry. Month 4 as a VISTA is coming to an end and I will be sure to update you on all future endeavors and adventures. I will leave you with a photo of a charming backdrop to the French Quarter that I fondly see so often.