Please tell us a little bit about yourself.    

Hometown: Santa Ana, California.  

Program of study: I recently graduated from Clark University where I majored in Race & Ethnic Studies and minored in Global Environmental Studies and Art History.   

Position in our Outer Banks national parks: Interpretive Design Intern at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.   

Where you can be found: Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.   

Other national parks you have worked at: I’ve worked with the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation in Boston, Massachusetts.  

Currently listening to and reading: Recently I’ve been reading some historical fiction. Additionally, I’ve been listening to Allison Russel and to Beach House which feels perfect for my time here in the Outer Banks.   

What do you like to do in your free time? I am artist so I am often creating or thinking about my next project. I also enjoy hiking and generally spending time outside. Especially here in the Outer Banks, I go to the beach daily to write and/or swim.   

What do you like most about the Outer Banks? The variety of shells you can find, the ospreys, and the friendly community.   

How did you end up in your current position with the National Park Service? I found my position through the Latino Heritage Internship Program. I applied because of my interest in the histories being taught at Fort Raleigh and the new interpretive Freedom Trail project.   

What does a typical workday or work week look like for you?   

Since starting, I’ve been involved in a wide variety of activities and tasks. I primarily work at the Visitor Center, interacting with guests and developing historical programs. Some of the most gratifying moments have been meeting with community stakeholders. Additionally, I have been going to community outreach events, including Manteo’s Dare Day, Days Gone By at Somerset Place, and the annual Juneteenth celebration.

Latino Heritage Internship Program intern Pia Cano working at the National Park Service table during the 2023 Juneteenth celebration at the Cookhouse Museum on Roanoke Island.
Pia Cano working at the National Park Service tent during the 2023 Juneteenth celebration at the Cookhouse Museum on Roanoke Island. Photo Credit: Pia Cano.

What do you enjoy most about working at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site?    

I really enjoy working with the volunteers and rangers at Fort Raleigh as they are constantly teaching me through their thoughtfulness and passion. I feel very lucky to work in a beautiful place with forests and beaches right outside.   

What is a favorite memory you have from your time working in the Outer Banks?    

It felt really meaningful to be present at the Juneteenth celebration and gathering because of the commemorative words by community members and hearing the powerful voice of Tshombe Selby.   

I also very much enjoy interacting with our junior rangers!   

Why are our Outer Banks national parks important?    

The Outer Banks national parks share a wide variety of resources for surrounding communities and visitors from all over the country. These resources allow people to actively create important memories in places that are either new destinations and/or part of local people’s heritage. Our parks give opportunities to learn about the histories here, the unique flora and fauna, and iconic architectural features.    

Special thanks to Pia for designing two of the educational signs for the new Freedom Trail at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site! This project is funded by grants from the National Park Foundation and the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom