The National Park Foundation’s (NPF) American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) announced a series of prominent efforts to improve the representation of Latino heritage in, visitors to, and long-term stewardship of America’s national parks. Beginning this week, ALHF will kick-off a series of aggressive social media efforts, education grants and collaborations with civic groups representing Latino communities including the National Council of La Raza Annual Conference in Las Vegas.
While the Latino community accounts for approximately 54% of the American population, Latinos represent less than 13% of national park visitors. Together, the American Latino Heritage Fund along with the National Park Service are working to preserve and celebrate the cultural, economic and civic contributions of Latinos to the American story as told through the national parks system.
“The mission of NPF’s American Latino Heritage Fund is focused on telling a more inclusive story of the American experience,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Only by reflecting the true diversity of American history will we succeed in fostering future generations’ visitation to our country’s natural, cultural and historic treasures.”
Formed in 2011 as a fund of the National Park Foundation, the American Latino Heritage Fund is initiating efforts intended to reach Latino audiences through civic group participation, social media activation and education grants. These include:
- Participation in the National Council of La Raza Annual Conference – ALHF is hosting a panel discussion featuring Dolores Huerta, Founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and Dr. Stephen Pitti, Professor of History & American Studies at Yale University titled, “Cultivating Civic Engagement by Honoring Latino Contributions to America.” Conference goers will also have an exciting opportunity to rediscover American Latino history while introducing them to the rich, cultural and environmental resources this country has to offer by visiting ALHF’s booth at NCLR’s Latino Family Expo.
- The American Latino Heritage Road Trip – ALHF is partnering with Manny Ruiz, Chairman of the social media network, Hispanicize, and founder of PapiBlogger, on a national road trip that will deploy five (5) bloggers to historic sites and locations that chronicle Latino contributions throughout the Northwest, West, Southwest Northeast Mid-Atlantic and South. Audiences are encouraged to track the road trip on social media and via Twitter by following @American_Latino and/or using the hashtag #LatinoHeritage.
- Funding the Washington State Youth Summit – ALHF provided a $25,000 grant to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation to implement a statewide youth summit that will immerse 35 students, their teachers and mentors in an interactive educational program in Yakima Valley and Mount Rainer National Park, July 10-13. The summit will explore Washington’s rich Hispanic and Latino heritage and discuss methods for increasing visitation by underserved populations in our national parks.