The American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced today the winners of the 2013 @American_Latino Expedition. The Expedition’s goal is to further engage diverse audiences to explore and connect with America’s national parks.

Through a partnership with ARAMARK Parks and Destinations and leading outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), ALHF has selected three dynamic groups to participate in three different national park adventures. Each Expedition trip will focus on education, park stewardship, outdoor recreation and exploration, all the while highlighting historic American Latino contributions at each site.

The 2013 @American_Latino Expedition winners are:

“We are inspired by the overwhelmingly positive response and interest to participate in the 2013 @American_Latino Expedition. There is a real desire to explore and discover how America’s national parks tell the story of American Latino contributions and as our partners and friends at ARAMARK and REI can testify, choosing among the applicants was very difficult,” said Midy Aponte, executive director of the American Latino Heritage Fund. “We are confident this year’s winners will do an unbelievable job sharing what they learn and experience in our national parks with diverse audiences across the nation.”

Each group will embark on an exciting national park adventure that includes visiting a local REI store to be outfitted for their trip and hosted excursions and over-night stays at unique and diverse national park lodges managed by ARAMARK Parks and Destinations. Group itineraries will focus on learning about each park’s significance, its connection to American history, as well as environmental issues affecting the park and how one can help in its preservation. Tours and activities offered by ARAMARK Parks and Destinations will create exciting in-park experiences. Bloggers will also meet directly with park superintendents, park rangers, park scientists and historians.

“We are thrilled to outfit and support the 2013 @American_Latino Expedition team members as they prepare for their adventure.  REI and Columbia Sportswear will outfit each group to ensure the most comfort and style to create memories for a lifetime,” said Laura Swapp, director of Diversity and Inclusion for REI. “Their dynamic stories will inspire others to explore our national parks and learn about our nation’s rich history – all while having fun with friends and family.”


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