SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Outdoor activities are a great way to get together with friends or family. They were also a driving motivation for one Sacramento man to create what's now a national organization.
Latino conservationist José González wanted to make sure his community could come together and enjoy the outdoors. He created Latino Outdoors in 2013 as a way to find others like him, those with similar cultural backgrounds. People with and even without an interest in the outdoors, all to bring more representation out on the trails.
"I'm Mexicano by birth/nationality, Latino through social cultural identity, Chicano through social political identity and Hispanic by census," González said describing how he identifies. "And a U.S. citizen. Expanding that within the broader narrative of outdoor recreation, while also helping to challenge and support some of the misconceptions within our own community."
Latino Outdoors has chapters nationwide, and because of his work, González is now one of several big names to be featured in this Washington Post newsletter that reflects on the status of Latinos in the country right now. The latest census data shows Latinos make up more than half of the nation's population growth in the past decade.
He hopes the platform reminds everyone, even those in the Sacramento region, of the great parks we have right in our own backyard.
"It can be easy to quote unquote, reduce the Latino experience to a few issues, whether it's health, immigration, or education," González said, "So the fact that we can talk about the outdoors, about natural resources, about the environment, nature and related policy to me was really exciting."
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