Five of the most inspiring quotes about resilience from Rosa Vásquez Espinoza and Rue Mapp

National Geographic Live has brought world-renowned storytellers — photographers, scientists, filmmakers, conservationists, and explorers — to stages across the globe to share their awe-inspiring stories from the field with audiences in person.

Since April 2020, National Geographic has been providing audiences with a new way to experience virtual offerings of the Nat Geo Live experience, right in their own homes. These interactive Facebook Lives allows viewers to explore the behind-the-scenes stories⁠ and stunning imagery⁠ from National Geographic’s world-renowned photographers, scientists, authors, filmmakers, conservationists, and adventurers from the comfort of home.

During Women’s History Month, the “Women of Resilience: A Storied Panel Conversation” featured two National Geographic Explorers who are pushing the boundaries of science and social justice. In the process, they’re building resilience in themselves and in the communities they foster.

The panel was moderated by Whitney Johnson, the Director of Visuals and Immersive Experiences at National Geographic. The conversation featured Rue Mapp, a National Geographic Education Fellow and founder of Outdoor Afro, and Rosa Vásquez Espinoza, a National Geographic Explorer and chemical biologist.

Here are the top five inspiring quotes about resilience that Rue and Rosa shared:

No matter if stores, schools, places of worship, restaurants are closing, nature never closes. Turning to nature during this pandemic has made me so thankful. Finding that place that was going to not only give me a sense of healing, but also peace and reassurance that it’s going to be ok. Giving ourselves the gift of time in nature helps us to remember how to slow down, how to pace ourselves, and how to connect with each other and really see and be with each other. Being in nature gives us the platform to be able to do that unlike any other place.

Rue Mapp

My story is one of multigenerational resilience and inspiration. I grew up learning from my grandmother and my mom that it’s ok to fall down because you will get up. I don’t see my gender, race, origins or accent as a disadvantage, and I always like to think of words my grandma used to say to me: ‘The women with the brave heart.’

Rosa Vásquez Espinoza

We have to rethink the outdoors. Visual representation is so important because it tells the story in a way that breaks through barriers that may involve economics or literacy. Outdoor Afro was really focused on telling this new narrative, which talked about and shared the stories of black bodies as strong, beautiful, and free. The outdoors just has to be that platform for fun and freedom.

Rue Mapp

I’ve had to learn how to live away from my family since I was 18, in a new country with a new language and culture. Building deep, meaningful connections was critical for me to adapt. When peers started understanding my story and wanting to get to know me, it gave me the confidence to say, ok I can actually make it here, pursuing my goals won’t be at the expense of my mental wellbeing or my emotional stability. I have been pushed into really pondering how do we build relationships and connections beyond language? We are not just limited to language or the things that interest us in a professional manner. Anything that relates to hobbies helps us build connections, and thanks to those connections I have had millions of amazing opportunities.

Rosa Vásquez Espinoza

What I’ve found is that change doesn’t happen faster than the speed of relationships. It’s through the connections with many people over many years that we have durable connections. They are successful not because of the numbers we can generate, but because of the depth that we can achieve, and the way that we have shifted the visible representation of who gets outdoors, and how the story is being told in a different way.

Rue Mapp

This event was powered by National Geographic Live’s Resilience Executive Speaker Series, a special convening of the planet’s leading explorers and storytellers who, through their work, seek to inspire business leaders and teams during the largest health and economic crisis in history.