Interpretation at Chaco Culture National Historic Park
J Martin (NM 1995)
I am a two time SCA Intern ALumni. One of my internships was an as Interpretive Ranger at CHaco Culture National Historic Park. It was a fantastic Internship! I was taking time off to work and pay for school, and I also needed to figure out what I wanted to major in at school. The SCA was great for both-I had no costs during the internship, and this internship at Chaco was the one that put me on my degree path! I got my Chaco internship when it was a Hot Internship. I'd never heard of Chaco or Interpretation. I loved both. I served during the fall, winter and spring-what a great time to be in the high desert! Chaco was great combination of being a remote park, but having great park employees living in the park housing. I lived within 500 feet of the visitors center. Back then it was in a posh 2 bedroom trailor, now the interns there have apartments they live in. THere was one other intern there my first month-Hey Muriel! WHere are you now!-Muriel was great, and we shared the trailor. Then i had the trailor to myself. My days were spent learning about CHaco, and why it is a historical and natural resource-then I got to share this information with visitors and help protect the park resources-a big job out there! Most of what I learned was how much i did not know-about U.S. history, the history and ecology of the land there, and the southwest, and about current tribal culture in that area, and the u.s. My 40 hour week was spent roving the trails and sites, speaking to visitors, doing trailwork and campground rehabilitation, assisting with monitoring sacred sites, working the visitor center, giving tours and learning learning learning! Two of my favorite mentors out there-GB and Ramona-still work there! If you get a chance to serve here-don't pass it up!