NRT master’s student Jazmin Castillo cofounded the organization Latins for Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in February 2019. Leading the organization with her are Dillon Hanson and Katerina Lozano, senior Fisheries and Wildlife majors. Wilma Gerena, business associate in the School of Natural Resources, serves as the organization’s adviser.
The club is dedicated to bringing together the Latino American community on City Campus and East Campus to expand the community of nature lovers. The group plans to provide a safe, welcoming space for students, no matter their heritage or gender, and meetings will be conducted in both Spanish and English.
“Latin American culture revolves around family,” Castillo said. “We created our organization to build community within a field that affects us all.
“We want to create a community that brings together students from both campuses and gives back to the underrepresented community in natural resources like Latin Americans. So if you speak Spanish, Portuguese, English, Indigenous languages, or any other, you matter and you deserve to be spotlighted.”
The group will provide students with opportunities to connect with and learn more about natural resources, including everything from groundwater to reptiles to wind, and to participate in outdoors activities.
“By getting involved with natural resources through activities, trips, and service, you are able to really appreciate all that the natural world has to offer,” Hanson said.
The group also plans to host events that allow students to delve deeper into different Latin American cultures or to practice and learn Spanish.
“We want our club members to have fun and learn things that will help them in the future,” Lozano said.
Gerena said she sees the club as a great opportunity for students outside of the School of Natural Resources to step out of their comfort zone and into the natural world, which is filled with fish and worms, water and minerals, air and grass, and other resources that touch people’s lives daily, allow them to thrive, and drive the economy.
The group is active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and has a listserv and website.
— School of Natural Resources