Hi there, Crystal Hernandez here with an update from the Tillamook County Extension office. As I progress further into my summer internship, I’ve had an eventful first seven weeks. With Juntos Afuera, family nights, and my career exploration opportunities I have been able to see just how much Extension impacts our community.
Extension seeks to inform, educate and connect individuals, and that is exactly what I have been able to do as a part of Juntos. We started the Juntos program this summer with Juntos Afuera, a camp that introduces Latinx high school students to recreational activities and informs them about the Latinx culture. So far, we have been kayaking and bird-watching, and we were part of the annual Tillamook County June Dairy Parade the first week of my internship. Apart from that we also had our first in-person family night at Hydrangea Ranch where Hueca Omeyocan, a group that performs traditional Aztec dances taught the families the historical importance that these dances hold in their culture. During this family night I was also able to speak with different families where they shared their interest in the Juntos program.
During Juntos Afuera I’ve had a leading role where I taught the campers about xempasuchil flowers, Aztec deities and got to explore my interest in health by introducing them to a first aid and showing them how to make a nutritional trail mix. Leading these activities was a challenge but as I kept doing them, I slowly got more comfortable speaking to the group of campers and noticed how they are all slowly opening up to each other as well.
I was once a member of Juntos but now that I am at the other side of it, I get to see how much effort and logistics an event like family night requires. Having to look for food, location, entertainment, preparing decorations and advertising is not as easy as it sounds. Making all of the pieces come together has required organizational skills and communication between everyone in the team.
Part of my internship also gave me the opportunity to explore different careers in the health field. I was able to interview different people in the health field that have been helpful as I get closer to my start date at OSU.
As I am quickly getting through my summer internship, I am looking forward to the next family night that is currently being planned and getting to help the campers with their Latinx identity projects that they will present to the Tillamook County Commissioners.