Richard Castillo Rodriguez
WWF-US Summer 2019
I was excited to learn I would be spending my summer in Washington DC as a Center for Blue Economy Fellow at World Wildlife Fund (WWF). I had been to the city once before as an exchange student from Costa Rica. From my first visit to Washington DC, I remember the city full of history, art, culture and free museums (perfect for a student!), so I was excited to spend a few months here. I arrived a week early to familiarize myself with my new place, the neighborhood and to explore some of the attractions in Washington DC.
Upon my arrival to WWF Headquarters, I explored the 8-story building and met my team. During my time at WWF, I’ll work for the Environmental and Social Safeguards Team, which is a small group of professionals who is in charge of implementing WWF’s Environmental and Social Safeguards Policies (ESS) for Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF) projects. ESS policies help to preview, avoid or mitigate any possible negative impact the projects may have on the environment or the local communities.
Because I am a native Spanish speaker and am fluent in English, my job will involve supporting projects in Latin America, for example in the Mesoamerican reef region and in Peru’s National Protected Areas. I will be synthesizing and producing information and materials on safeguards policies for WWF offices in the region. Finally, I’ll help design training materials for the team’s webinars on ESS Policies for WWF Latin American offices. This topic aligns perfectly with my professional interests since my future career goal is to work in international marine policy.
Because I am a native Spanish speaker and am fluent in English, part of my job will be assisting in translating materials for WWF Latin American offices. Finally, I’ll help design training materials for the team’s webinars on ESS Policies in Spanish. Having worked with fishing communities before, this topic is perfect for my future career and professional interests.