Latino Conservation Week kicks off Saturday

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For 10 years, the Hispanic Access Foundation has encouraged the Latino community to get outside through their Latino Conservation Week after finding out that the Latino community is often left out of recreational outdoor fun.

Officials said things like language barriers, and high barriers to access are the biggest deterrents to outdoor engagement.

“It is a challenge that Latino community members think that maybe the outdoor spaces aren’t for them, and we want to let Latino community members know that this urban national wildlife refuge is their refuge as well and they can come here to recreate safely,” said Brittany Chavarria, a Park Ranger at Valle De Oro Wildlife Refuge.

On Saturday, they will kick off the national week at the Valle De Oro Wildlife Refuge from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be music, food, and outdoor activities for people to enjoy like a camping preparedness class and hiking.

“It’s an accessibility issue maybe trailhead signs are only in English so for Spanish speakers they may not be able to understand what those signs say, how to be prepared for the outdoors,” said Chavarria.

Chavarria hopes the events planned for the week will encourage the Latino community to get out and build a habit of helping preserve wildlife and foster a love for the outdoors.

“It is important for us to make our programming and everything about the refuge accessible to everyone,” she said.

Before the event, they will have a bilingual wildlife tour at the Refuge. Everyone is welcome, they just ask that people sign up on their website.