Tomorrow, the inaugural Latino Conservation Action Week kicks off as Latinos demonstrate their passion for protecting our environment and getting outdoors. During the week, the Latino community, particularly in the Southwest, will go on hiking or camping outings, participate in community events or hold presentations designed to show their support for permanently protecting our land, water and air.
“This week is about sharing the Latino community’s perspective on the environment like the need to protect our public lands and natural surroundings for future generations,” said Maite Arce, president of Hispanic Access Foundation, which created the Action Week as part of its growing environmental program. “Hispanics are passionate about the outdoors and hold a strong belief that we have a moral obligation to take care of it.”
There has been a surge of activity from Hispanics across the country in relation to the environment. Polling consistently shows high levels of pro-conservation stances among Latinos, including high-levels of support for candidates sharing this same value. Numerous Latino groups dedicated to engaging and protecting the environment – including Action Week event sponsors Latino Outdoors and HECHO (Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hiking and the Outdoors) – have been formed. And, recognizing the importance of the nation’s largest minority group as the environmental stewards of tomorrow, national parks, government agencies, environmental groups and others have initiated programs to heighten Latino participation.
“For many of our nation’s Hispanics, the outdoors provides a connection to their cultural heritage. Environmental tourism provides employment and financial security to numerous Latinos. Getting outdoors and experiencing nature benefits the physical and mental wellness of Hispanic youth and adults. And unfortunately, this population is much more likely to suffer negative health issues due to environmental hazards,” said Arce. “The environment affects so many aspects of our lives; it’s only natural to focus on nature.”
The activities span several states and a listing of events is available at www.LatinoConservationWeek.com. Those recognizing Latino Conservation Action Week will be using #Latinos4Conservation in their social media. For media looking to attend a specific event or arrange interviews, please contact Robert Fanger at Robert@hispanicaccess.org.