Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) is a group for Latinos, and others, who value our nation’s public lands. We work to protect healthy watersheds, clean air, and robust wildlife habitats so that we can continue to enjoy and practice centuries-old cultural traditions that depend on these open spaces.
From southwestern deserts to northern forestland, Latinos throughout America have a strong connection to our nation's diverse landscapes. We urge our elected and appointed officials to safeguard our precious public lands, so that our children can enjoy fishing, hiking, hunting, camping and other outdoor activities for generations to come.
It’s our culture, it’s our tradition, and it’s our history. Whether it is fishing in the San Juan River, hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, hunting in the San Luis Valley, or camping in the Coconino National Forest, Latinos have been enjoying the great outdoors for generations. It connects us to our ancestors, and guides how we see our future.
Public land, by definition, is owned by all of us, regardless of socioeconomic status. It is where the very essence of our democracy. Recreating outdoors in our national parks and other public spaces is not only important to Latino communities, but is a fundamental American value.
Yet over the years we have seen these public lands increasingly impacted by development, and our access compromised. Oil and gas exploration, in particular, have resulted in loss of habitat and pollution of our air and water. While we all use fossil fuels for materials and energy, we assert that some places are too sacred and too fragile to be destroyed.
Development is a reality, but should not come at the expense of the lands that we continue to depend upon for recreation, sustenance, and the growing tourism economy.
HECHO is seeking to engage more Latinos to help balance development with conservation on public lands. A recent poll by Latino Decisions found that Latinos rate protecting the environment as among the most important issues they face.
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. If you are a Latino who loves the outdoors, we hope you will join HECHO today!