Local conservation organizations celebrate Latino Conservation Week in New Mexico virtually, July 18-26

Virtual events occurring in Doña Ana, Grant Counties

LAS CRUCES, NM (July 16, 2020) – New Mexico Wild, Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, Nuestra Tierra, the Bureau of Land Management-Las Cruces District Office, the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, the Southwestern New Mexico Audubon Society, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition are joining the rest of the country in celebrating Latino Conservation Week with virtual events across southern New Mexico. The annual celebration will begin July 18th and runs through July 26th. Virtual events also will be happening nationwide.

“Latino Conservation Week isn’t only about creating more experiences for Latinx people outdoors but also to highlight the activities our community has been engaging in. New Mexico Wild understands the importance of equity in the outdoors so we wanted to join initiatives to help broaden the impact,” said Grecia Nuñez, Public Lands Fellow at New Mexico Wild.

Latino Conservation Week was launched in 2014 by the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF). As explained by Maite Arce, President and CEO of HAF, “Latino Conservation Week was established to break down barriers for Latino communities to access public lands, encourage new opportunities for and outreach to these communities to use public lands and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.”

A variety of conservation organizations across New Mexico are combining efforts to be part of this movement for the third year in a row. This year will include a special release party of a Bilingual Conservation Lotería that will be available for download, virtual videos with a BLM Ranger, and fort building experts. A virtual panel will feature students who are focusing their studies and work experience in conservation-related fields.

Due to the continued spread of COVID-19, the majority of this year’s Latino Conservation Week events will be held virtually. The scheduled group hikes will comply with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s guidelines on group size limits, face coverings and physical distancing.

Quotes from Partner Organizations:

“Latino Conservation Week is a week for all of us to come together and tell the stories of how the Latinx community has always been connected to the outdoors and our public lands through work, play, and rest. We care about the land, family, and neighbors.”
-Daniella Barraza, BLM Las Cruces District

“Latino Conservation Week is important to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition because it helps us celebrate the communities along the Trail as well as all across the country who represent voices so often left out of our conservation history and present day exploration and appreciation of our natural places like parks, forests waterways and Trails- like the Continental Divide Trail. As a National non-profit led by a Latina Executive Director, we also want to be an example to help inspire the next generation of leaders who will stand up and speak out on behalf of all of our natural places! LCW gives us a way to contribute as much as learn about all the ways the Latino Community connects to the CDT and all the outdoor spaces we love, steward and care about.”
-Teresa Martinez, Executive Director, Continental Divide Trail Coalition

“Defenders of Wildlife is so pleased to support Latino Conservation Week 2020. It is important to honor the integral role and contributions of the Latinx community to conservation within New Mexico.”

“The Latinx community’s contribution to conservation in New Mexico is significant and part of what makes New Mexico so special. Defenders of Wildlife is honored to support Latino Conservation Week 2020.”
-Bryan Bird, Southwest Program Director, Defenders of Wildlife

“Latino Conservation Week is important because it is a platform for all Latinos to have access to the outdoors and to showcase the passion that the Latino Community has for conservation. This week also helps demonstrate that Latinos have always been a part of the conservation on conversation and continue to be.”
-Brenda Gallegos, Associate Director, Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks

“The word ‘conservation’ was never really part of my family’s vocabulary growing up in southwestern New Mexico. However, my Latino family’s actions spoke louder than words, and that is why it is important that we as conservationists continue to teach and mentor our youth as we celebrate Latino Conservation week.”
-Raymond J. Trejo, Southern New Mexico Outreach Coordinator, New Mexico Wildlife Federation

“For those of us in Southern New Mexico and along the greater Frontera, LCW is a time we partner to empower, motivate, and create opportunities for Latinos to get outside and experience culture, land, family, and the outdoors. This week, let’s get outside with our families and enjoy our wide-open spaces.”
-Ángel Peña, President, Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project

“Southwestern New Mexico Audubon is proud to support New Mexico Wild’s Latino Conservation Week, to honor Latino and Hispanic peoples’ traditional uses of public lands. LCW puts these voices front and center, where they belong: essential to the conservation work of today and tomorrow.”
-Lisa Fields, Southwestern New Mexico Audubon Society

Below is a list of Latino Conservation Week events events happening in New Mexico this year:
• July 18th: Wild and Scenic Art Show at Leyba and Ingalls Arts in Silver City. More details to come. Email simon@nmwild.org for more information;
• July 20th at 4:00 p.m.: Loteria de Conservacion Release Party on New Mexico Wild, FOMDP, NTCP Instagram Accounts;
• July 21st, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.: A virtual photo scavenger hunt with the Continental Divide Trail Coalition and Defenders of Wildlife. Clues will be revealed throughout the day on New Mexico Wild’s Instagram account;
• July 21st at 4:00 p.m.: Latinx Conversation on Conservation. Register here. The event will also be streaming on the Facebook Live accounts of New Mexico Wild, FOMDP, NTCP;
• July 22nd at 4:00 p.m.: BLM Ranger Virtual Talk on the Facebook and Instagram accounts of New Mexico Wild, FOMDP, and NTCP;
• July 24th at 7:00 p.m.: Intro to Discada! Register here. The event will also stream on the Facebook Live accounts of New Mexico Wild, FOMDP, NTCP;
• July 25th, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.: A virtual photo scavenger hunt with Southwestern New Mexico Audubon Society and Defenders of Wildlife. Clues will be revealed throughout the day on New Mexico Wild’s Instagram account;
• July 26th at 4:00 p.m.: Virtual Fort Building, streaming on the Facebook Live accounts of New Mexico Wild, FOMDP, NTCP.

View full event details here.

Please use #LatinoConservationWeek2020 to be a part of this movement on social media.

More information about Latino Conservation Week is available here.

ABOUT THE NEW MEXICO WILDERNESS ALLIANCE: The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance or “New Mexico Wild” is a non-profit 501 (C)(3), independent, homegrown, grassroots, conservation organization dedicated to the protection, restoration and continued respect of New Mexico’s wildlands and Wilderness areas. With staff and thousands of supporters throughout the state, New Mexico Wild is dedicated to the rights and the value of citizen involvement in protecting increasingly rare wild places within public lands. Just as freedom is every American’s birthright so too is Wilderness.

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