Hispanics Enjoying Camping Hunting and the Outdoors (HECHO) was joined by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Vice President, Monica Villalobos on November 14, 2018 at the Murdock Community Center in Flagstaff for a presentation of DATOS 2018. The report highlights “Elements of a Healthy Community.” Villalobos provided an overview of the state of Latinos in Arizona and key facts on climate change views.
More than 40 business leaders gathered to discuss the stewardship of public lands and the cultural connections between the Hispanic community and the environment. HECHO urged those present to call upon Congress to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which supports state and local parks and open spaces for recreation.
HECHO spokesperson, Liz Archuleta also spoke about HECHO’s goal to increase the protections of public lands and nature conservancy. “It’s important to hear Latino voices in support of conservation and keeping public lands in public hands. Many of our centuries old traditions are based on our connection to the land and we want to ensure future generations have the same opportunity to enjoy and be stewards of our public lands.”
“In 2016, the United States Hispanic population reached 57.5 million according to Pew Research Center,” said Monica Villalobos. “The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Arizona is one of the nine states that has a Hispanic population over one million with buying power of $45 billion that is set to surpass $57 billion by 2022. While the Hispanic population and buying power continue to increase, it is important that there are connection within the Hispanic/Latin community to broader issues that will shape the course of our future and generations to come. The Yale program on Climate Change Communication’s study, Climate Change in the Latino Mind, reported that 71% of Latinos have never been contacted by an organization working to reduce global warming. HECHO is an example of an organization ensuring that future generations are informed and provided opportunities to thrive in an environment where they are culturally rooted.”
As part of its efforts, HECHO hosts Free Fishing Days around Arizona and is currently planning a state-wide event in partnership with Girl Scouts of America, “Nuestra Herencia: A Conversation Between Latino Public Lands Managers & Future Latina Leaders.”