Our founder, Lonna Harkrader, shares about a visit from Larry Gomez, our former Tourism Coordinator, to North Carolina recently.
If you went on an ecotour in the past 7 years, you were guided around by Larry Gomez, our young and vibrant Tourism Coordinator. He impressed our visitors with his ability to solve any problem and spread enthusiasm for the experience, his facility speaking English, and his smile. Larry is a problem solver and one of those rare individuals who is undaunted when faced with challenges that he never imagined growing up in one of the most rural areas of San Ramón.
For that reason, he has been able to navigate life in the US with creativity and competence. Before working with SCSRN, he obtained a visa to study English at the University of Northern Iowa after working with a health project run by that university in his community. After returning to Nicaragua, Larry worked full-time with us for four years while also earning his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering. Now, Larry is in Iowa again on an H1-2 visa, working on a farm. He quickly became indispensable to the owner of the dairy where he oversees the milking of 200 cows twice a day. The dairy owner has applied for Larry’s visa to be extended. The particular visa Larry was granted requires the employer to give him a vehicle and to teach him to drive, another skill he has picked up during his time here.
Larry visited us in North Carolina recently, and while he was here met with a number of former tourists and went to a baseball game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park with a group of SCSRN board members. Richard Harkrader, who was showing Larry around the periphery of the baseball stadium, took the photo of the bull. Just as Larry was looking at the bull, one of the players for the Bulls scored a home run, which precipitated the bull snorting steam and running his tail up and down. You don’t see that kind of thing at a baseball game in San Ramón.
While he was here, Larry also took advantage of the opportunity to meet with some folks in the areas he is interested in pursuing in his graduate studies. Larry is considering more than one field, but the one he interviewed for here was for the Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering from the Gillings School of Global Public Health, with a focus on sustainable water resource management. He met with the Program Director and with another former faculty member who lives in Blowing Rock.
We all wish Larry the best of luck in his time here in the States and success in pursuing his graduate degree!