Sofía Guernica joined the Office of Sustainability as the Sustainability Program Coordinator. We sat down with her to hear more about her interests, favorite Philly parks, and why she’s passionate about sustainability.


What are three words that best describe you?

I asked my Dad and he said “smart, original, and innovative” but I think it’s cheating to ask a parent so I’m going to say “extra (as in, “ridiculous”), community-oriented, and post-colonial-intersectional-ecofeminist-latinx-troublemaker.

What ignited your interest in sustainability?

It started when I was really young with the whole “mother earth” thing; we have to protect the “maternal earth” for it protects us back and nurtures us. Which is sort of true – however, now it’s more of realizing that the earth will be fine without us. Humans have existed in just a blink of an eye for the earth’s lifespan. And we’re mostly just quickly destroying humans as a species by using up all our natural resources and essentially making earth quite inhabitable, or at least very strenuous, for ourselves.

But I also want to prove that all the awful things that we have historically done to each other and ourselves can be stopped. We can change and do something good for ALL of us for once.

Most of all, I want to try to build a model of the world that I would want to live in: healthy, prosperous, and fulfilling for everyone.

Why work for local government?

The government, in my opinion, is a great tool for distributing goods and services to a large group of people. Since needs vary from place to place, local governments are a great tool for distributing resources in a way that fits right for the people who use them.

What are you most excited about accomplishing in your new position?

Everything. Seriously, I’m excited about all the things I’ll be able to start working on. I know that’s a cop-out answer, but it’s a relief to really be on a career trajectory that I think will instill processes that will help change the world for the better.

You used to work for Parks and Rec. What’s your favorite park?

Dang, that’s a hard question. “Ben Barken” Park has my favorite name, hands down. It sounds like the name of an anthropomorphic dog comic strip character that teaches you about park safety, or something.

Malcolm X Park is up there in favorite parks, just because the bit about how I like revolutionary leaders. And I’ve been to a bunch of events there and have never been disappointed.

Grays Ferry Crescent Trail is one of my favorites because of the skate park under the highway and how people throw random parties next to the skate park. They’re not supposed to, I know, but it’s a really endearing and organic use of a park.

Are you reading anything right now?

The Revolution Starts at Home – a book discussing how to handle domestic violence within communities.

Any fun facts or skills you’d like to share?

I have a great skill of missing the subway by exactly 10 seconds.