Hi, I’m Mariana, and I have two confessions: I’m a social addict and I want to save the world. Both brought me to this new life, 7421 Km away from home.
My home? Venezuela. Back there I studied Biology, not very social undergrad; if you studied it, you know what I’m talking about. Hours in a laboratory, field trips, papers and writing… Challenging and interesting, but that’s basically your life. Which is, definitely, not my type of life.
After I graduated, in 2013, I started to work in an environmental NGO (to save the world). Reforestation, parrots conservation, volunteer programs, empowering women in poor communities… that was one part of my job. But the most important part was telling stories through social media (my addiction was 100% satisfied).
I was telling to the non-scientific world what were these mysterious, “hippy”, white coats, and messy hair scientifics doing in their laboratories. I wanted to engage people, to explain why nature is important, what’s its value, why we must preserve it, not just to raise awareness but to influence in policies and make a real cultural change.
If you like challenges, this is a big one; and big challenges are multidisciplinary. That’s how I ended up in The University of Edinburgh doing my MSc in Environment and Development. Understanding nature is not enough, you have to get to know its relationship with humanity and its social, economic and political structure.
So now, away from my comfort zone, friends, beers and tequeños nights, salsa parties, hillwalking and tap dance classes, I’m working here, in Edinburgh, to keep my two confessions/passions alive: to keep telling stories in other language (challenge) and to have more skills to give the best of me to save the world, or at least to save a part of it.
Talk again soon!