Hola! My name is Yubitza. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but my family is from Chile and when I was a baby my parents decided to return to Chile. I am fortunate, because now I am a citizen of both nations.
I grew up in Quilpue, Chile in the Valparaiso region. It sits in the steep-sided hills above the coast, and some call it the “city of the sun” because it is seldom cloudy, and its aridity provides ideal condition for sclerophyllic—or slow growing, brushy, “hard leaved”—plants. It also is where my favorite tree, the Wine- or Coco- Palm grows. I spent my entire childhood playing in this environment, admiring the beauty and abundance that I find in every time I return there.
That feeling of biophilia grew as I travelled to different regions of Chile with my family and I experienced the difference between mountains, coast, rivers, lagoons, volcanos, and hot springs, and witnessed different kinds of vegetations and animals. From the northern Atacama desert, the driest on Earth, to the famously wet southern Cape Horn archipelago, Chile is a country of extreme and wonderful biodiversity.
However, as I was growing up I always wondered ‘’What is Atlanta like?’’. I had to know! As soon as I finished high school, I flew back to Atlanta to learn English. I went an institute, but few months later I preferred to quit and start working as a cashier in a convenience store to get more practice. I did it until that December of 2016, because circumstance required me to fly back to Chile.
Once in Chile, I enrolled at the Andre Bellos University and I choose to study my passion, ecotourism. I didn’t have very much support for this decision, but I knew that I had to follow my inspiration. While at Andre Bellos, I participated in a several off-campus experiential learning activities, like RAUNAB (a mountaineering workshop, started by students in 2018), as as assistant guiding younger generations through challenging terrains, and two volunteer internships (one in Austral road in Coyhaique, Aysen region and second in Fonk Museum in Vina Del Mar, Valparaiso region).
Ecotourism studies has taught me to see the world from the perspective of different cultures. I am sensitive to the fact that people from different places have unique tastes, and stories and ideas—and ways of seeing and understanding the world, and nature. This multicultural awareness nourishes my interest in working with, and teaching, people from other places, customs, and cultures. New York is the perfect place for me!
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