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Maria, Maria, she reminds me of a West Side Story… well. Not exactly. She hasn’t fallen in love with east LA (yet?) but so far, she likes San Diego! Hailing from Sweden via Amsterdam, Maria is with us for a month. Get to know her!

Hey! My name is Maria and I’m from Sweden but have lived in Amsterdam for the past 4.5 years. Currently, I’m studying sustainable development and political science at the University of Amsterdam. I’m lucky to live in a city that I love (and can recommend everyone to visit); it’s a city that is built for people, which gives a sense of freedom to everyone living there. I like to bike everywhere I go (I’m becoming Dutch in that way) and I’m involved in several environmental organizations as well as the squatters’ movement in the city. Standing up for your beliefs in terms of social and environmental justice is important to me, and has been for many years, although what really sparked my interest was probably studying marine biology during high school; it really opened my eyes to the societal and ecological importance of sustainable changes. Apart from my interest in the environment I love music and play drums with a local samba-band (part of the Rhythms of Resistance network), which is a lot of fun, and I love travelling. So when the great opportunity to do a one-month internship at the 1:1 Movement in San Diego came up, I took it!

Apart from the obvious greatness of being able to flee the dark and rainy winter of Western Europe, my first impression of San Diego is really good; it comes across as a really diverse and friendly and beautiful city (although I do need to get used to the reliance on cars here), and it could become even better with some sustainable developments being implemented (improved public transport and bike paths to start with if you ask me 😉 ), which it why it feels great for me to get to help out with the projects of The 1:1 Movement. When it comes to sustainability, I believe it’s important to approach the issues from many different progressive angles, and one of them is to involve and engage people who are new to the concept by giving them tools to implement in their daily lives. There is a lot of complicated information out there to try to get your head around, and so it is important that people are provided with a context where new information can be used in a valuable way. There’s nothing as stable as change.

I’m really looking forward to my time here, I’m sure it will be a great learning experience!