9th Annual Latino Conservation Week Offers Outdoor Opportunities

Suzanne Potter | California News Service
The Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts an event today (Monday) as part of Latino Conservation Week, one of dozens of activities planned statewide. Photo Credit: Fastily / Wikimedia Commons

This week is a great chance to enjoy the great outdoors – with more than fifty free events, up and down the state of California, as part of Latino Conservation Week.

People can go paddle boarding, hiking, take nature walks, attend film screenings and more.

Juan Rosas is a conservation program associate with the Hispanic Access Foundation – which organizes the event with the help of dozens of community, non-profit, faith-based, and government organizations and agencies.

He said the program dispels the misconception that Latinos don’t care about the outdoors.

“A lot of the Latino community do live in nature-deprived areas,” said Rosas. “So, to be able to take them hiking and fishing, camping – have virtual events, webinars, educational resources that they can firsthand experience – is the goal of Latino Conservation Week.”

An event on Saturday, July 23 will promote the proposed Western Riverside County National Wildlife Refuge.

Rep. Ken Calvert – R-Corona – and Rep. Mark Takano – D-Riverside – recently reintroduced a bill in Congress to officially create the new urban refuge. They say the idea is to improve access to nature for millions of people living in Southern California.

Find out more about all the events online at ‘LatinoConservationWeek.com.’

This year’s event slogan is “Disfrutando y Conservando Nuestra Tierra,” which means “Enjoying and Conserving Our Land.” According to Rosas, this annual event has really caught on, growing significantly over the years.

“It started in 2014 with nine events,” said Rosas. “And this year, in year nine, it looks like we’re just nearing 200 events that are going on, all around the United States. So, we’re so excited.”

Many of the events touch on environmental justice themes, since so many Latinos in California labor in manufacturing and agriculture – industries that often pollute the air and water in nearby communities.

Green living