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Oregon's Hispanic Community Supports the Outdoors

Latino Conservation Week focuses on the outdoor opportunities for Latino communities across the country. (pixabay)
Latino Conservation Week focuses on the outdoor opportunities for Latino communities across the country. (pixabay)
July 21, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. — It's Latino Conservation Week, and groups across the nation are focused on access to public lands for Latino families. All week, groups will be hosting events outdoors to promote recreation and the protection of natural resources.

The week is a way for Latino communities to demonstrate their passion for the outdoors, said Maite Arce, president of the Hispanic Access Foundation - which started the initiative in 2014. But that's not its only purpose.

"It's also an opportunity to make sure that the Latino community is aware of other places that may not be traditionally visited by us: trails and parks and waterways,” she said.

The community has a strong commitment to protecting public lands, Arce said.
According to a poll by Colorado College, 77 percent of Hispanics are opposed to selling off public lands in order to reduce the federal budget deficit.

According to Arce, transportation to parks is often a barrier for the community. The purpose of Latino Conservation Week is to make sure people who typically aren't represented on public lands have a chance to explore them.

"We break down those barriers to having them be able to actively enjoy their public lands,” she said.

The Hispanic population is the fastest growing population in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, 12 percent of Oregon's population is Hispanic.

For more on Latino Conservation Week, visit latinoconservationweek.com.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR