Since I was a child, I always dreamed of traveling to many parts of the world, knowing new cultures, getting new experiences, pursuing new goals. I’ve always seen the United States of America as a giant full of adventures and wonderful people, that’s why it was always on my list of favorite places to meet.
I am Mario Jiménez, 23 years old and I am from Costa Rica, raised in a low-income family. I spent most of my childhood surrounded by the wonderful forests of the Costa Rican Caribbean. I always had the impression that there could be no trees larger than those my eyes were watching, but I discovered a wonderful place at the age of 8 through my little television … Redwood National and State Park … I was amazed by the impressive Sequoia trees in this magnificent and imposing park. From that little moment I fell in love and I said to myself “Someday I’ll see those trees with my own eyes.” For me, at that time it was just a dream, a fleeting desire as a child, and I soon forgot it without knowing that divine destiny would have prepared a surprise for me.
We stayed at the house of two wonderful donors and I had never experienced being so cold in my life, but in the same way it was amazing. Their house was surrounded by immense trees, so as a bird lover I had the opportunity to see the Crow for the first time, that may seem very common but it is certainly impressive. And I also had the joy of seeing Apple trees which was definitely a delicious experience.
And as the highlight of the trip, I had the opportunity to fulfill my childhood dream, to finally see the tallest trees in the world. We made a 4-hour walk through the Red Woods, I will never forget the emotion I felt that day.
After so many years, I was standing there in front of some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world..
I met people from all over the world, people who work with Elephant, Lions, Pangolins, Dolphins, Penguins, Spectacled Bears, Cheetahs, Painted Dogs, Orangutans, etc.
Without a doubt, it was an experience that inspires and gives hope. The week there was undoubtedly the best in my life, having the opportunity to talk to people who work with animals that can only be seen on television is something that leaves you speechless, I have no words to describe the sea of emotions that I have felt.
I want to thank WCN and the donors who made my biggest dream come true.