the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) will join conservation and recreation organizations from across New Mexico to celebrate the eighth annual Latino Conservation Week from July 17 – 25.
Each year during Latino Conservation Week, a collection of nonprofit, faith-based, and government organizations across the country host events that connect Latino and Hispanic families and youth with outdoor recreation opportunities near their homes, elevate the Latino community’s commitment to conservation, and demonstrate Latino and Hispanic communities’ views on conservation issues.
“Latino Conservation Week is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the countless contributions of the Latino and Hispanic communities to conservation in New Mexico and all along the Continental Divide,” said Teresa Martinez, CDTC’s Executive Director. “Our communities have lived and stewarded these lands for generations, and this week invites people of all backgrounds to learn about the conservation heritage of Hispanic and Latino peoples and to enjoy New Mexico’s public lands together.”
CDTC’s events across the state for this year’s Latino Conservation Week will provide opportunities for conservation enthusiasts of all ages to recreate outdoors and enjoy community. The week will kick off Friday, July 16, at 5:00 p.m. at the Farmer’s Market Pavilion in Santa Fe. Conservation and recreation leaders from across the state, including Dana Vacker Strang, Assistant Commissioner of Surface Resources for the NM State Lands Office, and Axie Navas, Director of the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division, will speak and conservation organizations will host tables for attendees to learn how to get involved in conservation efforts and recreational opportunities.
“It’s such an honor for the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division, whose mission is to ensure that all New Mexicans benefit from the growth of the state’s outdoor economy, to participate in the celebration that is Latino Conservation Week. The event brings together the leaders of the Latino community who are working for equitable access to the outdoors and stewardship of our lands and waters,” said Axie Navas, Director of the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division.
CDTC will also host events throughout the week in CDT Gateway Communities. These events include a presentation on Hispano Sheepherding Culture in Chama, NM; a community hike in partnership with New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and Step Into Cuba at Asisi Park in Cuba, NM; a CDT-themed lesson for local children in partnership with Future Foundations and a community hike with Cibola Trail Alliance in Grants, NM; and a conservation and art show in Silver City, NM, in partnership with New Mexico Wild.
Latino Conservation Week began as a series of 9 events in 2014 as an initiative of the Hispanic Access Foundation. Since then, it has grown to a nationwide celebration.
"Latino Conservation Week is a national initiative with hyperlocal implications,” said Simon Sotelo, Grassroots Community Organizer and Latino Outreach Coordinator for New Mexico Wild. “The purpose is to support local events celebrating the contributions of the Latinx Community to outdoor spaces and public places."
CDTC and partners, including the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Hispanic Access Foundation, Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project, Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, Cibola Trail Alliance, Step into Cuba Alliance, Chama Valley Outdoor Club, Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. Initiative, and others, will host events throughout the week. All events hosted by the CDTC are free and open to the public. To find an event near you, visit facebook.com/continentaldividetrailcoalition/events or latinoconservationweek.com.