Lyndy Palmer

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Chatham University

Heinz Programming Area:
International Experience Summary:

Lyndy Palmer traveled to coastal Ecuador through Proworld Volunteers and lived for two months at the Congal Biomarine Station, owned by an environmental Non-Government Organization called Jatun Sacha, on the island of Muisne, Esmeraldas. There she interacted with the people and explored the environment, spending the first month volunteering on the farms, three weeks teaching English in the schools and the last few weeks constructing articles from bamboo with machetes. She was able to capture so much on film too! Unfortunately, since the shrimp industry went bust in 1998 and with it all the mangrove reforestation initiatives and grant money, the environmental program of her internship was not as structured around research and reforestation as she would have hoped. She took this as an opportunity to forge her own goals. Her regular ‘environmental’ activities consisted of helping on the farms, fishing in the shrimp farm Lagartera, and exploring the Jatun Sacha conservation area for ripe fruit and new places to start a garden. Through learning about local environmental issues, Lyndy was inspired to volunteer on cacao farms to explore the barriers to organic certification and also on the shrimp farms to investigate their relationship to the deforestation of the mangroves. Video footage from these farms and an interview with volunteer coordinator Andres Ledergerber has been made into professional and personal videos to add to her journalism portfolio. Lyndy succeeded in being immersed in the local culture through making friends with the locals on the island and practicing her Spanish every night. At school she learned very quickly how to improvise activities for animated high school classrooms. During the weeks the volunteer coordinator was absent she gained the ability to instruct and lead new volunteers to their work sites as well. Although challenging at first, Lyndy acquired more confidence in her ability to get around without much direction in Ecuador.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

Lyndy Palmer had opted to take on a personal project for her CEE, volunteering and gaining membership within the WRCT (radio carnegie tech) Pittsburgh station at Carnegie Mellon University. She had created a radio show called Latino Radio which features a different Latino or Spanish speaking co-host every week who speaks about their background and their music interests. In the process of creating this show she had to establish herself within the Latino and Spanish speaking community, gaining their acceptance and asking people to come on to her show every week. She is in communication with LACU, St. Regis, San Jose, and attends Salsa bars regularly to network. The premise of the show is to explore Latino diversity through Latino and Spanish speaking co-hosts who will talk about themselves, their culture, their country, and playing their favorite music. Lyndy seeks to be the conduit through which Latinos and Spanish speakers take the opportunity to talk about themselves and their culture, adding diversity to the media and better representing the diversity within the Latino community