Apologies for the radio silence over the past few months; I have been on maternity leave, but it’s been business as usual for SCSRN in San Ramón! We’ve had at least one ecotour every month since January of this year, and one arriving next week. These ecotours are an important way we meet our goal of cross-cultural exchange and mutual understanding between folks from the U.S. and Nicaragua.
There is one person who is largely responsible for ensuring that our visitors have a meaningful, transformative experience during their visit to San Ramón, and that person is Larry Gomez, our Tourism Coordinator. A native of San Ramón, Larry has been working with SCSRN since 2013, and in that time has received countless visitors to his beautiful hometown. I asked Larry to share a little about these past four years with SCSRN.
- Why did you decide to work for SCSRN?
Back when I applied for this job, I was still a college student majoring in Civil Engineering at a private university. Even though I was only studying on the weekends, and had a part-time job, a scholarship for from Hands For Hope Inc., and support from my parents, I still needed more money to pay for my tuition and all my university costs. I come from hard-working parents that happen to be teachers. They taught me how to work hard, so I felt that I personally needed to take the next step. Plus, it was a great opportunity for me to keep up with my English.
- What do you like most about your job?
There are a couple of things I like about my job, but the one that stands out the most is how what I do at work can change other people’s lives in a good way. I like how two people from different cultures and backgrounds can interact and build friendships, in spite of the stereotypes that we as a society can build throughout the years.
- What is your most memorable moment as Tourism Coordinator?
I have had many memorable moments. I have made friendships that will last for a long time, but hosting and doing all the logistics for a group of students from the University of Northern Iowa has perhaps been the most memorable experience. For me, it was a way to give something back to the place where I learned a lot. My first experience abroad was at UNI, and I made friends from different countries with other cultures and languages while learning English at the CIEP.
- Anything you think people should know before they decide to come on an ecotour with SCSRN?
You have to have an open mind and be aware that you will put yourself out of your comfort zone, but I do guarantee that at the end of the day, it is all worth it. It will make you a better global citizen and you will have learned so much. Hopefully, you will start seeing the world from a different perspective.
Also take this opportunity as a chance to share about your culture and your country. Remember that wherever you travel, you will leave your signature there. What could make a better impact than educating others about you as a person from another culture and country while educating yourself about others? I truly believe that an ecotour with us can be a life-changing experience for you.
To learn more about the work that Larry does, and the ecotours we offer, click here!