A Free Family Fishing Day hosted by HECHO (Hispanics Enjoying Camping Hunting and the Outdoors) in partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and Coronado National Forest took place at Peña Blanca in the Coronado National Forest the morning of November 3, 2018.
Santa Cruz County Supervisor, Rudy Molera also partnered with the event and helped welcome more than 60 people who attended the event which was the second of three HECHO Free Fishing events planned for Arizona this fall. Game and Fish provided loaner fishing poles and tackle, supplied bait and waived standard fees for the day.
Liz Archuleta, HECHO spokesperson said, “HECHO spent the day with families to further our mission of increasing Latino voices on conservation issues that impact the Latino community like the Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Over the course of the day, families learned the importance of Congress permanently reauthorizing and funding LWCF to continue to have parks and open spaces for families and future generations to enjoy and recreate in.”
Santa Cruz County Supervisor, Rudy Molera spent the day handing out fishing poles and talking with participants. “Appreciation for the land is an important part of our cultural heritage. I am glad so many people came out to enjoy this day with us and learn more about how we, as Latinos, can enjoy and protect our public lands and water. Everyone had a good time.”
Youth won raffle prizes of fishing tackle and poles and enjoyed activities that included conservation education and exploring the walking trails. For some of the participants, this was their first exposure to fishing and outdoor activities.
Local resident, Omar Sanchez brought his wife Marcela and sons Omar, Jr (13) and Mateo (8). It was the first time his sons had been fishing and he was excited to talk about the fun they had while stressing that it was a very educational day.
“This was a great way to bring the family together without all the electronic devices,” Sanchez said. “ We enjoyed being outdoors. We spent hours out there enjoying a beautiful sunny day and really talking to each other. While my sons were having a lot of fun, they learned a lot about how to fish, what kind of fish they could catch and how to bait and cast. All of this while developing an appreciation for clean air and clean water. We could not have asked for more.”
Additional HECHO Free Fishing Day events included October 6 at Cesar Chavez Park in Phoenix, and November 17th at Desert West Park in Maryvale.