Protecting our Ocean and Building Awareness in Italy

Protecting our Ocean and Building Awareness in Italy

I’d love to share my story with you of my work with an organization called Worldrise fighting to protect our beautiful ocean. To finish my master’s in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development, I chose to study the educational and communication investments in marine conservation to improve community knowledge and behavior.

I was connected with Mariasole Bianco, the founder of Worldrise, through Charlotte Vick while working at the COP21 events for the Sylvia Earle Alliance. Mariasole Bianco is an Italian Environmental Scientist and expert in Marine Conservation and management of Marine Protected Areas (MPA). She founded Worldrise in 2013 to promote grassroots marine conservation projects in Italy providing a platform for local communities and university students to develop environmental educational programs and sustainable development projects.

My Camino to Santiago de Compostela with Mami

My Camino to Santiago de Compostela with Mami

El Camino de Santiago, was one of the most difficult yet satisfying experiences in my life. Imagine waking up everyday around 6:00 or 7:00am, putting on your clothes, packing your sac, and trusting in your swollen and blistered feet to make it to the next town sometimes 30km (18mi) away. El Camino is one of the most popular pilgrimages in Europe as it leads to one of Jesus’ apostle’s, St. James, burial site. Legend has it that shortly after St. James was beheaded in Jerusalem in year 42, his remains were brought to Galicia by his seven disciples on boat for burial. It wasn’t until centuries later that his body would be found again. In 813, the light of a bright star guided a shepherd who was watching his flock at night to the burial site in Santiago de Compostela. This is where the name Compostela comes from Campo de Estrellas or Field of Stars. King Alfonso II was immediately notified and in honor of St. James, he ordered a cathedral be built on the spot where his remains were said to have been found. The discovery of his tomb in the 9th century compelled many Christians from all over Europe to pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela to worship his relics. Every year, more than 300,000 pilgrims earn a Compostela (your certificate of completion) coming from over 100 countries. The volume of pilgrims is simply astounding.