The past year has been in many ways a devastating one for the Latino community. It has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 nationwide. It’s also brought unprecedented changes in the outdoors community.
As the pandemic has triggered widespread shutdowns of open recreation spaces. Followed by reopening’s that drew record numbers of visitors as people sought out refuge in the great outdoors.
For those leading the intersection of those communities, like José González, the pandemic period has triggered some complex conversations.
González, a conservationist and educator who founded the organization Latino Outdoors. Recently talked about his work and about what the region is doing right – and wrong – to make the outdoors and the environmental movements more inclusive, particularly for the Latinx community. He prefers the gender-neutral term Latinx to refer to people of Latin American cultural or ethnic identity.
Latino Outdoors, a San Francisco-based organization, was founded in 2013. The organization is focused on developing conservation and outdoor education leaders nationwide. It works to address the fact that although the Latinx population is the fastest-growing demographic group in the U.S. It is also among the least represented groups in conservation, outdoor recreation and environmental education initiatives, according to its website.
While González doesn’t work as executive director of Latino Outdoors anymore. He continues to serve as an ambassador for the program, as well as a volunteer and adviser. And he’s considered a thought leader when it comes to the outdoors and inclusion. In fact, he is set to be recognized at the Bay Nature Institute’s 2021 Local Hero Awards. On Sunday, April 11, from 5 to 6:15 p.m. Sign up for the free event at is.gd/baynature[…]
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