Working in the Rockies Staff Blog – Luis Gonzaga
Luis Gonzaga was a seasonal employee at Snow Mountain Ranch this past winter. He worked in Food Service and later became a volunteer photographer for the Marketing Department. Luis took some amazing photographs of property, and wanted to share his experience at Snow Mountain Ranch. Some of his work can be found below.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I’m from Brazil.
Q: How did you hear about Snow Mountain Ranch? What made you want to come here?
A: I heard about Snow Mountain Ranch in the interchange agency, when I was searching the best option, and I chose it because I never saw snow before, and I thought that work at the YMCA would provide me that experience (and i was right, there’s a lot of snow at Snow Mountain Ranch, right?). In addition, the fact that Snow Mountain Ranch provides housing, food, travel, among other things convinced me to work there.
Q: In which department did you work while at Snow Mountain Ranch?
A: I worked in Food Service, and as a volunteer in the Marketing Department.
Q: Had you been to Colorado before coming to Snow Mountain Ranch?
A: No, never! In fact, this was my first time in the USA!
Q: What did you think when you first arrived?
A: Well, everything was different! The weather, the people, the food, the way to do stuff, even the sky! The forests are not as diverse as Brazilian forests, but they are beautiful in the same way! Especially the pines and the rocks covered with snow. And, when I arrived at Snow Mountain Ranch I thought it was very cool, because every place was decorated for Christmas, and I felt really welcomed by people!
Q: What was your favorite part of working at Snow Mountain Ranch?
A: I was able to meet and interact daily with people from various parts of the world, learn new skills working in the kitchen, and had contact with the snow (which I would never have in Brazil).
Q: What did you do in your free time?
A: Sometimes I used to walk around and take some pictures around Snow Mountain Ranch, but whenever I could, I would schedule a trip to Denver, to go to the zoo, museums, and sometimes to the shopping mall too! Denver is really cool!
Q: What was the coolest or most fun thing you did while in Colorado?
A: Probably skiing, even falling a lot of times! But Colorado was awesome! The landscapes are wonderful, the people are kind and welcoming, the places are really interesting and the beer is delicious!
Q: What have you gained from working here?
A: I gained new skills in food service, new leadership skills, as I was promoted to supervisor, new friends from various countries of the world, a new and better world view, improved my English, learned a lot about American culture and improved my self-discipline. The exchange was a wonderful experience, which I recommend to everyone, both for personal and professional growth!
Here are some of Luis’s photos, taken at Snow Mountain Ranch.