The National Park Foundation today announced the eight individuals selected for the 2014 @American_Latino Expedition. In its second year, this Expedition engages diverse audiences and inspires exploration and stewardship of America’s national parks, all the while highlighting American Latino culture, history, and contributions across the National Park System. The program is conducted through the National Park Foundation’s American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF).
Through a partnership with Go RVing, Aramark, the award-winning food and hospitality partner for national and state parks and other leading leisure and cultural attractions across the country, leading outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI, and Columbia Sportswear, ALHF has selected eight dynamic social media influencers and bloggers to participate in a national park adventure to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
“The National Park Foundation and all of our 2014 @American_Latino Expedition partners are thrilled to announce this year’s participants, and we look forward to experiencing their upcoming adventures with all of you online,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “We’re eager to read about their travels and see the incredible moments they capture on film, inspiring all Americans to explore our national parks, enjoy the wide variety of activities they offer, and discover the connections they have to American Latino heritage and culture.”
The 2014 @American_Latino Expedition participants are:
- Daily Baez of Covina, California
Daily is the founder of DailyCurlz, a bilingual lifestyle blog with a curly twist, and a Spanish language YouTube channel. She discovered blogging as a way to share her personal journey to a healthier lifestyle, which included putting an end to chemically relaxing her hair and embracing her natural hair.
- Ramon Gonzalez of Chicago, Illinois
Ramon is an urban garden communicator and community builder. He’s the writer behind the popular MrBrownThumb garden blog. Ramon has taught thousands that growing their own food and flowers is easy and accessible to all. In addition to writing about and photographing gardens, he’s an avid seed librarian, community garden board member, and sought-after garden speaker.
- Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack of Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Yvette has devoted her life to her three passions: her family, developing healthy Latin-inspired recipes, and educating others about how to enjoy traditional cultural cuisine in a healthful way while keeping traditions alive. She writes about her culinary adventures on her award-winning blog, MuyBuenoCookbook.com, is a professional recipe developer, a YouTube vlogger, and is the co-author of Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor.
- Melanie Mendez-Gonzales of San Antonio, Texas
Melanie is the creator of ¿Qué Means What? – a Latino lifestyle blog based in San Antonio, which began with her own “cultural identity crisis” as a Mexican-American out of touch with her heritage. She currently writes to inspire others to celebrate their own culture with stories about familia, education, Latinos in entertainment, and more.
- Lizza Monet Morales of Costa Mesa, California
Nicknamed “The Ultimate Tomboy In Heels,” Lizza is an actress, producer, and bilingual journalist who shares her adventures and her love for all things travel, beauty, lifestyle, tech, gadgets, cars, fashion, and philanthropy on her blog XoxoLizza.com.
- Ramon B. Nuez Jr. of Staten Island, New York
Ramon is a landscape and urban photographer, freelance writer, teacher, father, and husband. He is also impassioned about nature, meditation, yoga, and family. He shares his passions at Ramon B. Nuez Jr. Photography.
- Vianney Rodriguez of Aransas Pass, Texas
Vianney is the founder of the award winning blog Sweet Life. A proud Tejana, she enjoys sharing recipes that are inspired by her childhood memories, her Mexican heritage, the global food culture that makes up South Texas cuisine, and her love of margaritas.
- Staci Salazar of Little Elm, Texas
Staci describes herself as a daughter, sister, wife, mom, and friend. Her blog, 7 On A Shoestring focuses on lifestyle and family. In addition to being a wife and mother, her daily grind consists of networking, writing, photography, promoting, editing, and so much more.
“We look forward to hosting this diverse group of @American_Latino Expedition participants at Grand Teton National Park,” said Superintendent David Vela. “Their stories told through social media will surely broaden an understanding of the wonders of Grand Teton for diverse audiences and help to inspire hearts and minds in the process. Their words may also develop appreciation for the cultural significance of all national parks, as well as foster future stewards of our collective American heritage.”
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