Francesca Varela is the Communications Associate for 1000 Friends. She manages social media, writes email newsletters and action alerts, and helps communicate our mission to our members.
Francesca holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing from the University of Oregon and a master's degree in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah. She dedicated her studies to environmental writing and went on to write four environmentally-themed novels: Call of the Sun Child, Listen, The Seas of Distant Stars, and Blue Mar. Francesca got her start in nonprofits as an intern with Nearby Nature, the Oregon Sierra Club, Oregon Wild, and Heal Utah, and as the Communications Coordinator at the Oregon League of Conservation Voters.
Tom McCall famously said that “Oregon is an inspiration.” Francesca finds inspiration in Oregon's wild places, especially our forests. She grew up with a forest as her backyard, and was visited by an owl who inspired her to pursue environmental studies.
It’s not surprising that, in Oregon, Francesca’s favorite place is any and all forests–she loves walking beneath the trees and identifying wild plants and birds. Beyond Oregon, her favorite place is Kaanapali beach in Maui, Hawaii, where she loves to swim in the ocean and play in the waves.
Outside of work, Francesca enjoys a wide range of hobbies, including hiking, playing piano, figure skating, doing yoga, gardening, traveling, and writing at local cafes. She also enjoys walking her sweet dog, Cashew, and exploring new places throughout Oregon.