Every year, communities across the country participate in Latino Conservation Week (LCW), in celebration of our Madre Tierra. An initiative of Hispanic Access Foundation, LCW was created to support communities’ access the outdoors and participate in activities to protect our public lands and natural resources.
And it’s no secret that Latinos embrace the outdoors! Seventy-nine percent of Latinos believe it is extremely or very important to protect our nation’s wildlife, public lands, and endangered species.
There is also a great sense of shared responsibility in protecting the cultural and natural history that exists in special places like Cesar Chavez national monument, the Grand Canyon, and many other places of cultural significance across the country.
Latinos also believe our public lands and monuments play a unique role in capturing the spiritual stories that have shaped this country — celebrating acts of bravery and sacrifice, recognizing the unique contributions of all people, and providing opportunities for healing.
To honor the important role of Latino Conservation Week in protecting our air, water, and natural and cultural heritage, this year, Chispa Nevada, Chispa Arizona, and Protégete in Colorado held and participated in Latino Conservation Week activities.
Check out the amazing things events that happened last week!
The Protegete team traveled with a group of community members throughout Mesa Verde, Durango, and Pagosa Springs. The group connected with the indigenous cultures of Colorado learned how they interacted with the land and how they have shaped the state’s history.
In Mesa Verde, the group of 15 Promotorxs, their families, and Protégete staff camped out for two days and took a tour of the World Heritage Site. During the trip, various pieces of training were provided in relation to protecting our public lands and the importance of the federal Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE) Act, the importance of fighting for the Colorado Water Plan, and the importance of Zero Emissions Vehicles for the State of Colorado. Folks in attendance were asked to take action in all of those fronts, including sending over 45 handwritten letters to decision-makers.
The participants ended the trip thinking about how to build on the work that has been done to protect our rights, advance the fight for environmental justice, and build on the legacy of Colorado’s indigenous communities.
As part of National Latino Conservation Week, Chispa AZ partnered with Sierra Club and EcoMadres to show a screening of The Flight of the Butterflies on Wednesday, July 17th at Puente Human Rights Movement offices.
The Flight of the Butterflies describes the incredible journey of thousands of Monarch Butterflies that travel annually from Mexico to Canada. The film followed the story of “Dana” for the migration of over 1,500 miles, along with her daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter.
The 45 minute documentary was screened in Spanish with English subtitles, and provided an opportunity to learn about the most incredible migration on Earth, and engage in community conversation about natural patterns of migration and how our lives are not only deeply connected, but part of the natural world we call home. The event brought together more than 30 community members to learn and discuss the film and current events, including many leaders new to our environmental justice movement.
Chispa Nevada organized an outing to Lake Mead Boulder beach. Over 56 volunteers attended this event, which included families, youth, and adults. This trip provided a much needed outing from the city and it was a lot of members’ first time fishing! It also was a reminder of why we do this work – to ensure that these cherished public lands and waterways are protected for future generations to enjoy.