I am Germán Rohena Rivera and I am 16 years old. I live in Vieques, Puerto Rico. I am the son of a Police Officer and a Head Start Assistant Teacher. I am extremely dedicated with my studies and one of my hobbies is reading. During my short life, I have faced tough personal situations like the separation of my parent. The most recent was the death of my grandmother. These past three months have been very difficult for me because I am getting used to the idea that she will no longer be with me. She was one of the people that better knew me. To honor her memory, I decided to do something that was super important for her: to continue with my studies and go the extra mile. 

The Wizards of Nature project of the Vieques Conservation & Historical Trust, funded by the Red Nose Puerto Rico Fund, has positively impacted my life.

Thanks to the project, we are learning and improving skills to become part of the nature tourism industry in the small municipal island.

For example, I am improving my English, which is essential in this industry. Thanks to the conversational class, I am more fluent. Also, I learned how to handle Microsoft applications such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. I am sure that this will be very useful for my life, and even more now, that our education is virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am learning how to handle social media for business.

On the other hand, I have learned about the different ecosystems of Vieques and the species that inhabit them. I have discovered new areas of interest such as astronomy and I am more in love with my island because I have visited places unknown by me, despite living here. One of those places is Puerto Mosquito Bioluminescent Bay, which the Guinness Book lists as one of the brightest bays in the world. My first visit to the bay was magical.

The purpose of that visit was to learn navigation principles needed for becoming a tour guide and to understand the science of the bay. Once there, the sky became dark, the magic began, and I was speechles. We learned how to use scientific equipment to take samples of Pyrodinium bahamense: the dinoflagellates that make the bay glow. We also visited Cayo de Tierra for the first time. I did not know that there was a lagoon in the center of it. After looking carefully at the lagoon, we went to the viewpoint at the top of the Cayo. The view was beautiful. I have never seen anything like it. 

These experiences gave me the opportunity to know my island better. Now I know that I can be a great guide.

I want to teach our visitors the natural beauties of my island. There are still a lot of things to learn such as a navigation skills, CPR and environmental interpretation courses. I am learning a lot. My long-term goal is to be a pediatrician. I am very interested in medicine. I also want to help my island. In short term, I would like to work as a guide and volunteer in the Vieques Conservation & Historical Trust, in tasks related to the conservation of the bay.

Finally, The Wizards of Nature Project has helped me a lot, even though it’s not yet finished. For me, the most important thing is to know that there are people who care about the future of us, “the new generation”, and take the time to help prepare us for our work and personal lives.

This is one of the five organizations funded by Red Nose for Puerto Rico Fund, established in 2019 in Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico by Comic Relief US.