Maria Luna Santacruz (Urban Forestry)

Assistant Project Manager at La Hesperia Reserve in Quito, Ecuador

Maria standing in a field with grass, holding a clipboard and smiling.

During my co-op placement in La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve in Ecuador I have worked alongside researchers, volunteers and mangers to improve day-to-day operations; facilitate communication in English and Spanish; and creating content in various social media platforms. I have learned about the work that goes on behind the scenes to run an NGO. Most importantly, I have been working on collecting data on the importance of trees for improving biodiversity in farms and pastures. Because of this, I have learnt very valuable skills in fieldwork as well as in science and climate communications.

Co-op has been an amazing opportunity to prepare myself for the changes that I will face once I graduate; allowing me to have a smoother transition from student to employee. The experience I gained has made me a more well-rounded candidate for future jobs. I belive that other students should take advantage of the benefits of this great program since they will get the unique chance to grow within the industry of their choice before officially entering the job market.

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