When I was growing up I always heard about the crazy things that Greenpeace people did around the world in order to protect the environment. Who knew that ten years after I would be one of them.
My discovery of Greenpeace occurred when I was 15 years old and was accessing the internet for the first time. I was angry to read that we were destroying the environment for profit and that people were suffering because of this. But at the same time, I was encouraged by all the things that were being done to protect it and to see that so many people were passionate about it too. I immediately signed up to be a cyber activist!
From Bolivia, I decided to move to Montreal to study Human Environment- and be away from my parents for a while- and I started to learn more about environmental and First Nations issues here in Canada. I volunteered for Greenpeace in Montreal where I to dressed as a fish on a professional soccer field to help our oceans campaign. But it wasn't until I moved to Vancouver that I had enough time to be involved with Greenpeace in a different capacity.
I was new to Vancouver and I didn't know anyone but my partner. While I was browsing Craigslist for the hundredth time I realized that Greenpeace was hiring; you can only imagine the big smile on my face! I joined the Street Canvassing team and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. To convey my passion about environmental issues to people who haven't heard about the Tar Sand takes skill and patience. I now feel very comfortable with confrontation and bridging conversations. One of the greatest parts of my experience as a canvasser is the amazing network of people I became exposed to. Everyone is inspiring for different reasons and between canvassers there's an unmatchable camaraderie that makes you smile even on a slow, rainy day.
Lately, I have been involved in a couple of Greenpeace actions here in Vancouver. It feels amazing to be part of something so great, something you and everyone else on the team whole heartedly believe in. It is re-energizing knowing that you are not alone in this beliefs but rather surrounded by equally passionate and dedicated people. Today, I am one of those crazy Greenpeace activists I saw ten years ago.
Nowadays, I am no longer a canvasser for Greenpeace but rather an intern. I continue to be incredibly fortunate to work with amazingly inspiring people. I mostly do research for the Forest Campaign and I love it. I am happy to be part of Greenpeace in a different way so I can broaden my understanding of the organization and gain experience along the way. But mostly, I like knowing that I am part of a community that constantly works to ensure that future generations don't have to face environmental disasters that our generation creates.
Ana Terrazas is a Greenpeace forest campaign intern based in Vancouver.