As 2015 comes to a close, we’ve been reflecting on the past year and we realized that together we’ve really accomplished a lot! Thank you for being a part of this vital movement. As part of Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1) and through the end-of-the-year, please consider making a donation to support HECHO’s work in 2016 – to keep empowering Latinos and elevating our voices, so we are heard by our leaders. We’re proud to say we’re one of the only groups providing a platform for Latino voices in the conservation movement, and we want to keep sharing our diverse stories, perspectives, and connections to the lands and waters of this nation. Click here to donate to HECHO.
HECHO 2015 Highlights
We’ve engaged communities in our centuries-old tradition of enjoying the outdoors while raising awareness about HECHO.
- With the help of the Moab Valley Multicultural Center, the National Park Service, Rim Tours and Canyonlands Field Institute, Juan Palma coordinated and led a four-hour hike for school-aged children to foster their connection to public lands. “Once their feet touch the earth of these spectacular places,” says Palma, “their connection is strengthened, and hopefully so is their urge to protect these sacred lands.” The Moab Sun News wrote a story about it which you can read here, and Juan Palma wrote a blog post about the Old Spanish Trail that runs through the area here.
- In May, HECHO joined Arizona Representative Mark Cardenas at a free fishing clinic at Desert West Park for Arizona Fishing Day to show their support of him and sportsmen and sportswomen in Arizona, as well as to raise awareness about the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which partially funds Desert West Park.
- As part of October’s Get Outdoors Nevada Day, HECHO hosted a “campsite” featuring tent construction contests every hour, plus mountain biking and fishing instruction.
- Collaboration with Girl Scouts—Archery & Camping
We’ve shared many of your inspiring stories on the HECHO Blog.
- How One Adventure Turned Into A Love For The Outdoors, by Viviana Reyes, Innovation Manager – Latino Community, Girl Scouts of Arizona Cactus-Pine
- Honoring our Heritage. Building our Future. One Man’s Story. by William Contreras, a fourth generation resident of Arizona and retired employee of the US Postal Service.
- How a Mexican Migrant Boy Became a BLM State Director, by Juan Palma, Chief Conservation Officer of HECHO
- Q&A: Kent Salazar, Outdoorsman and HECHO Advisory Board Member
- Q&A: HECHO Advisory Board Member Senator Mo Denis
- Q&A: HECHO Advisory Board Member Utah Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck
- Four Steps to Developing a Lifetime Habit of Hiking and Camping, by Oz Benitez
- Parks and Open Spaces Part of a Balanced Life, by Rep. Mark Cardenas, Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
- Water’s Interwoven Connection with Public Lands, by Christian Gerlach, Community Organizing Representative, Sierra Club
- Community Gardens: A Modern Way to Pass Down Our Latino Heritage, by Christine Alonzo, Executive Director, Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, and Research Organization (CLLARO)
- Teaching Kids & Getting Them Outdoors: It's Part of Our Heritage, by Melissa Sotelo of Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK)
We’ve made our voices heard in the U.S. Capitol and beyond.
- In February, Democratic Members of the House Natural Resources Committee held a groundbreaking roundtable discussion with six of the country’s leading Latino organizations. The meeting focused on how Members of Congress and Latino groups can work together on issues like climate change, clean energy, water resources, support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, preserving cultural antiquities, and including more public input in making major federal environmental decisions through the National Environmental Policy Act.
- In May, with support from HECHO, Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) voiced his concern in a Senate hearing over oil and gas development in the northwest New Mexico, and its potential impact on Chaco Canyon, which in the Senator’s words is “an incredibly rich cultural destination as well as sacred place to the tribes of the Southwest.”
- We met with Rep. Lujan Grisham and Sen. Heinrich, and attended Congressional Hispanic Caucus meetings to support important programs like LWCF, monument designations like Browns Canyon, and making sure everyone has access to our public lands.
- Also, we met with leadership in the Department of the Interior, BLM, National Park Service and Forest Service.
We’ve made our voices heard in the media.
- Sportsmen need the Land and Water Conservation Fund, by Kent Salazar in The Hill
- Public lands at risk, by Utah State Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck in The Hill
- The Udall conservation legacy continues, by Rod Torrez in The Hill
- Latinos should speak up for public lands, and Moab plan is good place to start, by Juan Palma in The Salt Lake Tribune
- Hispanics’ conservation efforts set to get a boost at Las Vegas conference, by Camilla Simon in the Las Vegas Sun
- Colorado kids need Land and Water Conservation Fund, by Lisa Simms in the Denver Post
- Methane needs Bureau of Land Management regulation now, by Rod Torrez in the Santa Fe New Mexican
We have grown.
We couldn’t do it without you.
We’re proud to say we’re one of the only groups providing a platform for Latino voices in the conservation movement. Latinos rate protecting the environment as among the most important issues they face, yet we’re typically not included in the political conversations that address these issues. HECHO provides a platform for our voices to be heard. We want decision makers to know that conservation is central to our values, grounded in our traditions, and a priority for the benefit of future generations.
Thank you again for your support! We couldn’t do it without you.