We had the good fortune of connecting with Andres Sanchez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andres, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I am inspired by creativity, whether it is through the form of science, language, art, education, or technology. I believe creativity can serve as a catalyst for anyone’s success and is so beneficial to every community. There are no limits!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Due to limited resources, career opportunities in my community were scarce. Fortunately, the internet provided me access to opportunities that were not in my neighborhood. Being resourceful and persevering to find my niche has led me to where I am today. My imagination also played an important part to the career path that I have chosen and I am very proud of that. Whether it was seeing myself scuba diving, surfing or even doing scientific research in any ocean or body of water around the world. This helped me land really cool internships, such as researching dolphin behavior along the coast, providing animal husbandry at a marine mammal care center, and even collecting benthic water samples in a river. Those amazing internship opportunities were pivotal in helping me land a career at AltaSea. It’s important to me to show individuals who have backgrounds that are similar to mine that it is possible to do the things you didn’t believe you could do because you didn’t think you fit it. Those who feel they are caught in life between who they really are, and how they are perceived, are able to see things from a different point of view. You learn how to see the world from different angles and points of view. Those lessons, for better or worse, have shaped the person I am today.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d definitely give them the California experience. If you’re coming to the Golden State, you’ll very likely want to see the ocean and so we’d kick things off on the first morning with a hike on the Palos Verdes coastline. You get these amazing 180 degree view of the Pacific Coast and there are many paths with various options of distance, incline, terrain and degree of difficulty. We would most likely have an appetite and would need to quench our thirst afterwards so I would make sure to take them to local breweries with great food! Brouwerij West, a unique brewery, located in a cool old warehouse in the port town of San Pedro, would be my top pick. They get really creative with their operation and also when collaborating with other breweries around the US. I usually like to order the “Bunny Fuku,” which is a really great IPA and hang outside at the big picnic tables next to the brewery. The best part? It’s dog friendly and they have awesome food trucks every week. For me, nighttime is all about music and I’d make sure we catch a live show at a local venue to give my visitor a distinctly L.A. music experience. I love the free Monday night residencies at The Satellite in Silverlake. You can watch a band develop its material and see different opening acts every week. Also on Mondays and also free and really good is School Night at Bardot in Hollywood. This gig features a line-up of local bands curated by KCRW DJ, Chris Douridas. Both venues bring a great atmosphere along with great sounds and often feature bands that go on to become big stars. On the subject of music, no visit to LA is complete without attending an LAFC soccer match and watching the fans in the 3252 section of the Banc of California Stadium sing and dance from the first minute to the last of every game. They call it 3252 because that is the amount of fans in a standing room only section of the stadium. The 3252 fanaticos create an atmosphere that is comparable to global soccer capitals such as Buenos Aires, Liverpool or Madrid. I love soccer, and quite honestly, my favorite team is the Galaxy so I’d tell my visitor to time their visit so we could do a derby match between the two clubs. Talk about a unique LA experience! On the subject of unique LA experiences, the post-game hot dog is something you cannot miss. With all due respect to the Dodger Dog, the street dogs that you can devour outside the Banc of California Stadium or the Coliseum are the best you will find anywhere. Just thinking about watching them grill the caramelized onions and peppers is making my mouth water. But it is the creativity behind the bacon-wrap around the dog, which gives it the unique taste that almost always has me ordering a second one. During that week, I’d definitely make sure to reserve a day to show them where I work. AltaSea is located on City Dock 1, a 35-acre site that is the original dock at the Port of Los Angeles (hence the name). Our campus includes spectacular old warehouses that housed submarines during World War 1 with amazing views of the Angels Gate Lighthouse in the port. But what is more impressive than these great sights is the vision that AltaSea has for this grand old dock. We are turning to the ocean to develop solutions for some of the planet’s most pressing challenges, such as climate change, energy supply and global food security. It is a place where we are preparing today’s generation of students, of all backgrounds, for future jobs in science, technology, engineering, business and the ocean. Can you tell I love my job?!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to my mom and pops. My parents have always instilled in me that there are no limits to success. This constant reminder has conditioned me to work hard, never give up, and strive for the highest achievement in my career, even during grim times. Overcoming obstacles has been rewarding and I am so grateful for the many lessons taught and the constant support that my parents have gifted me with. My colleagues have also provided a lot of guidance and encouragement to do the things that I love.

Website: www.altasea.org

Image Credits
Credit to Taso Papadakis for the picture taken at event.