My name is Esmeralda and I am 18 years old.

I was born in Palm Springs, California and have lived there my entire life. I am a first year Earth System Science major with a minor in Global Sustainability. I am involved with EarthReps, MEChA,, and am a Green Captain for UCI Hospitality and Dining.

Although I have always had a deeply rooted connection to the Earth, my interest in sustainability began when, at the age of eleven, I discovered that my favorite animal, the white tiger, was going extinct. It was this discovery that made me reconsider the way I lived my life, from that point on I based every decision I made on its impact to our environment and its ecosystems.

The transition to a sustainable lifestyle has not been easy, it is difficult to leave behind habits and objects that make life more comfortable but, I find comfort in the fact that my sustainable choices are creating a healthier planet for future generations. I still have much to learn about sustainable practices and I look forward to gaining new knowledge in Costa Rica; it is important to realize that this planet belongs to everyone and is the sole object of interconnection, we have much to learn from each other. I hope to bring back my knew found knowledge and share it with my peers and my community here at UC Irvine. Pura Vida!