Elitsa Southern_Intern_Blog post

What makes Greater Phoenix so great: Elitsa Southern

Published: 12/20/2023

Tell us a little about yourself:

My background is a mix of academia, research and experience in various non-profit organizations, government and private entities for the development of cultural and educational initiatives. I have lived in different places around the world, including Scotland, England, Romania, Bulgaria and California! My name – Elitsa – means Christmas tree in my native language – Bulgarian.

What city or town do you live in?


Where are you originally from and what brought you to Greater Phoenix?

Originally from Bulgaria, I have lived here for five years.

Where do you currently work and what is your job title?

I am an Intern at the Marketing & Communications Team at GPEC.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Greater Phoenix on the weekends?

I usually fill my time with birdwatching, hiking, exploring and protecting Arizona’s wilderness. When I am not outdoors, I engage in my other passion – cooking and baking!

What’s your favorite local restaurant?

Caffe Boa in Tempe and Red Allen’s Bar & Grill are my favorite places for a special occasion, and we always try to choose farm-to-table local small business restaurants where food is made-from-scratch!

What’s something that has surprised you about Arizona?

The abundance of crops year-round! There are many communities who are trying to revive traditional agriculture that is sustainable and heterogeneous. Indigenous farmers in Arizona are increasingly reintroducing and sustaining native crops grown traditionally for thousands of years to bring their communities together, to make them resilient, healthy and knowledgeable about their ancient practices and roots.

Please include anything else you would like to add:

It is a truly exciting time to be in Greater Phoenix! In this one-of-a-kind desert oasis one can witness the wonderful diversity of cultures and traditions, culinary experiences, lushness of nature and so many nice people who all work very hard to achieve what they want!

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