As Hispanic Access looks back on the past ten years of celebrating Latino Conservation Week, it becomes increasingly evident the impact, growth, and success this initiative has nurtured and facilitated in our community over the years. In 2014, we set out to create a week-long, national celebration of community in the outdoors that would not only create accessible opportunities for Latino communities to participate in outdoor recreation, but to highlight our community leaders’ dedication to protecting and preserving our natural resources to the general public and to our country’s leaders and decision makers.

What has actually transpired?
We’ve broken barriers that the Latino community often faces when it comes to participating in outdoor recreation activities, enjoying and using public lands, and getting involved in advocacy efforts around conservation efforts. According to The Nature Gap report by Center for American Progress and Hispanic Access Foundation, families with children and specifically those families of color, are nature-deprived, meaning that they have less access to nearby nature than the rest of the country. Latino Conservation Week events, which are usually a collaboration between local community groups and NGO partners, have given our community the opportunity to experience outdoor recreation without having to worry about the cost of gear or transportation by providing these opportunities free of charge. Beyond that, these events have created long-lasting partnerships and relationships between outdoor recreationalists, community leaders and families, and local public land management agencies to continue to bridge the gaps that tend to exist between these groups. In this sense, Latino Conservation Week has not only broken barriers for specific opportunities, but has laid the groundwork for a transformed outdoor narrative – one in which these barriers no longer exist and the nature gap is minimal.

Angela, in her DCNR uniform, stands in front of a sign that has the cover of a bilingual nature book and a post with the information about Latino Conservation Week.

Angela M., an Environmental Educator at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, stands next to the cover of a bilingual book that is posted along the 3/4 mile trail behind her for Latino Conservation Week.

We’ve also amplified the voices of Latino leaders in the outdoor recreation and conservation space, which are spaces that have been predominantly echo chambers, dominated by one very white-centric perspective, by providing a platform for our community members to share their work, efforts, and determination to protect our natural environment. In the last decade, we’ve watched these spaces open up and invite diverse perspectives into the conservations leading to better and more intentional conversations about outdoor spaces, conservation efforts, and addressing climate change related disasters and threats. Slowly – very slowly – but surely we’ve watched the narrative begin to shift towards one that centers the voices of those directly and aggressively impacted by the consequences of a warming planet.

A group of Hispanic and Latino Professionals group stand in front of an old iron ore furnace at Pine Grove State Park

A group of Hispanic Latino Professionals take a history tour of Pine Grove State Park. Visitors are standing in front of the iron furnace.

Around the country, Latino Conservation Week has permeated into the conservation world in a way the team couldn’t have predicted back in 2014. What started as just a handful of events with a few partners has grown to 250 events, with over 220 partners engaged in hosting these events. In its 10th year, Latino Conservation Week continues to provide outdoor recreational opportunities to our communities like always, but has really become a week of visibility for the Latino community in conservation. Beyond outdoor recreation, Latino Conservation Week is a platform for leaders that are breaking boundaries and making waves in the conservation space through their work in public land management, research and sciences, climate change, advocacy and policy. This year, during the 10th anniversary, we get to celebrate just that.

For additional information, lists of events from around the country, and to get involved, visit


Written by: Jessica Godinez, Conservation Program Manager and LCW Program Lead, Hispanic Access Foundation

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Celebrating Latino Conservation Week