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Park Service Seeks to Preserve Latino Legacy

PHOTO: National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis speaks at the Latino Legacy Forum in Los Angeles on Thursday. The NPS is recommending the establishment of a new national historical park to honor the life of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Labor Movement.
PHOTO: National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis speaks at the Latino Legacy Forum in Los Angeles on Thursday. The NPS is recommending the establishment of a new national historical park to honor the life of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Labor Movement.
October 25, 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The National Park Service is recommending Congress approve a new national historical park to honor Cesar Chavez and the farm labor movement.

National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis says the sites associated with the movement are an important part of American history.

He points out less than 10 percent of the country's current historical places, landmarks and national parks represent the contributions of minorities and women.

"So there's a huge gap in the recognition, protection, designation and interpretation of the contributions of all Americans," he says.

The new Cesar Chavez National Monument in Keene that was designated by President Barack Obama last year would serve as the cornerstone for the new national historical park.

Jarvis spoke at the Latino Legacy Forum in Los Angeles on Thursday. He says the Park Service needs communities to help tell the important stories of culture and history so that it can be preserved for future generations.

He adds another example of lands that should be protected include the San Gabriel Mountains and river in Los Angeles.

He says parklands in the urban landscape are incredibly important.

"San Gabriels is a perfect example,” he says. “You have this fantastic natural resource right here next to LA, incredible diverse population of Los Angeles that are already using it. And I think it can be improved in how they use it, how it can be accessed and become part of their lifestyle.”

George Sanchez-Tello directs the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy that includes Latino, Asian, Native American and other cultural and historic content in its classes. He says it's important to tell and experience the history of the region.

"Stories of immigration, stories of empowerment, stories of struggle and success,” he explains. “You know, things that we can learn from – the stories of veterans that have come back from foreign wars, the stories of civil rights, the stories of women's rights. All of these things are here in San Gabriel Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains."


Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA