Featured Earthsaver for the #Next100
As a native of Puerto Rico now studying Environmental Conservation Education in New York City, Geovani Caldero is helping engage Latino youth to ensure the #Next100 years of America’s parks.
What’s your SCA story?
I grew up surrounded by nature. Since I was a kid, my favorite activity was to play outside and help my father on our farmland. My father taught me how to plant and grow green plantains in my hometown of Corozal, Puerto Rico. Those values and experiences provided me the opportunity to be interested and involved with nature. In order to continue my career in environmental conservation, I came to New York City for graduate school, looking forward to keeping my connection with nature and conservation in the urban environment. I applied to join SCA as a crew leader and event volunteer in order to engage people with nature, introducing them to natural experiences in urban settings.
Why do you serve the planet?
I serve the planet because our generation has the responsibility (more than any other generation in our history) to confront and deal with serious environmental issues. We are the generation that has a crucial role in decision-making to guarantee access to better resources for our next generation. For that reason, it is important to educate people to recognize our role in society, as well as give people the opportunity to explore nature directly to increase their awareness.
What’s your favorite green space?
The island of Puerto Rico has a lot to offer in terms of green spaces. Puerto Rico has a variety of ecosystems such as rainforest, dry-forest, mangrove, coastal ecosystems, caves, estuaries, and karst topography. But my favorite place in Puerto Rico is still a tiny forest near my community called “Monte Choca.”
What’s your next earthsaving goal?
For me education is the key to addressing our environmental issues. This summer, I will be leading SCA community crews in New York City through a collaborative partnership with the National Park Service, SER, Aspira, and the Hispanic Federation. I would like to serve as a resource to provide place-based experiences to my Latino crew members. Likewise, I want to give them the opportunity to change their communities through environmental conservation projects, conservation education, environmental justice, and recreational activities. My goal as a leader is to strengthen my crew members’ identity with place.