Alicia Fernández Rubio

About Me

Hi there! My name is Alicia, I’m 25 years old and I come from Mexico. In 2007 I graduated from college, majoring in Industrial Design and finishing my thesis evaluation on the development of sustainable products created only with electronic waste.
Throughout my life I’ve always been really interested towards conservation and environmental education, this is basically what led me to Madagascar. I wanted to actually “do” something about it. I had never participated in any volunteer program before, but I knew since I was young that this was something I had to experience; it basically became a dream, a goal and a personal challenge… getting to do real hands-on conservational work in Africa.

Little did I know, I was about to sign myself into something greater than I had ever imagined…

Living, Malagasy Style...

I thought, before I left Mexico, that I had all I needed to pretty much survive in Madagascar. I read books, talked to previous explorers, arranged all my camping equipment. But, let’s face it, life really doesn’t always turn out the way you planned it… and that was just the beginning!

It seems that when we give up on what was, well that’s when things that we thought improbable, or even impossible even, happen right before your eyes. You know things aren’t going to be like they are in your own country, but the most amazing thing was to learn how easy it is for anyone to get used to something. We have so much going on in our lives that we take for granted the little things that really make a difference. Things, like, electricity, running water, not to say hot water, a toilet, salt, the list could go on and on, but don’t worry, you’ll be shocked with how even the most different things for you, start to look more and more familiar. It starts getting scary when you can’t remember the last day you washed your hair, the last time you actually got to sit down on a toilet, or your last meal which didn’t include rice. And trust me, these are only a couple of not-so-strange-examples… just imagine the rest!
 / ©: WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio
Posing with a chamaleon
© WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio

My advice

There isn’t enough I could say or explain that could prepare anyone for an experience like this. Being chosen by WWF as one of the 6 explorers to travel to Madagascar was one of the most exciting and yet most scary times in my life. I wanted to know everything I could before the program started, even if I was really nervous and didn’t know what to expect, I knew I had to do it, because truth is, opportunities like this don’t come up every day.
The only thing I can tell anyone interested in volunteering is… try it! They say that the saddest thing a person may ever face is what might have been. Just be careful with your expectations, and most importantly, don’t expect to save the world in three months; if you have that idea in mind you’ll be totally disappointed. The main objective of this program is to let us experience the realities of conservation work in developing countries, which let me tell you, it’s a great eye-opener.

Oh, and something that kind of sucked: don’t expect to be surrounded by lemurs or any other endemic Malagasy animal all day. You might get lucky and see some in the forest… sad but true, they are not going to be there posing for your camera, they’ll probably be hiding from you. Sorry to say, the biggest fauna contact will come from spiders, cockroaches and lizards, not to mention the zebus you’ll have to dodge while walking on the road in every town.

Life is funny sometimes, it can push pretty hard, but if you look close enough you find hope in the laughter of children, in the immensity and solitude of the forest, or in the eyes of someone willing to take that extra step to make a difference. So, if you’re looking for a challenge and a truly unique three-month experience in which you’ll see conservation in a different kind of way. Well, go for it… you might end up learning a little bit more of something called life.

Don't hesitate to contact me to find out more!

In other words… they might even sound wise

“There are moments is our lives when we find ourselves at crossroads… afraid, confused, without a road map. The choices we make in those moments can define the rest of our days.
Of course, when faced with the unknown, must of us prefer to turn around and go back. But once in a while people push on to something better, something found just beyond the pain of going it alone. And just beyond the bravery and courage it takes to let someone in, or to give someone a second chance. Something beyond the quiet persistence of a dream. Because it is only when you’re tested that you truly discover who you are. And it’s only when you’re tested that you discover who you can be. The person you wanna be does exist, somewhere on the other side of hard work, faith and belief. And beyond the heartache and fear of what lies ahead.”

Have you ever wondered if one life can really make an impact on the world? Or if the choices we make matter? I believe they do, it only takes one person to do something good, it only takes one thought to make you believe that we can be the change our planet needs.

© WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio © WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio © WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio © WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio © WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio © WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio © WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio © WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio © WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio © WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio © WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio © WWF / Alicia Fernández Rubio

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