Fabiola Torres is a young Puerto Rican who at an early age learned from her family to love the great outdoors. Nowadays, she is an enthusiastic nature advocate that works to engage the Latino community in conservation initiatives.
In 2018, Fabiola was a full-time fellow for the U.S. Forest Service at the Mendocino National Forest and Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in California as part of Hispanic Access Foundation’s MANO Project. In this job, she worked in the planning of land management practices and public education. An important role in her position, working for HAF, was engaging the Latino community and inviting them to enjoy our public lands.
“Throughout my internship with HAF and the U.S. Forest Service I was inspired by people’s passion for conservation issues and their ability to enact change. This helped me realize that, as a professional, I wanted to focus on educating and engaging our community in conservation initiatives in order to help them turn that passion into action.”
Now, as the community engagement coordinator for the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary in Tiburon, California — where she builds relationships with local groups and individuals to align their interests with local conservation needs — she’s taking inspiration from her work with HAF to expand the sanctuary’s outreach into the Latino community.
As an HAF intern, Fabiola had the opportunity to plan for, enjoy and experience Latino Conservation Week. In 2018, she organized and was part of various events in California, which included stargazing and camping at Cowboy Camp, youth river rafting, and an educational walk at Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve. Seeing the great success of LCW and Fabiola’s commitment to engaging the Latino community in conservation, she decided to introduce this great initiative to Audubon.
For the first time, Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary will be participating in Latino Conservation Week this summer.
“In Audubon, one of my main objectives is to engage community members in the work of the program and the center. In order to make Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary available for all, we see it as crucial for us to engage the Latino community, since this is a growing population with a strong passion for the outdoors and conservation.”
Fabiola is already organizing several events and partnering with organizations to bring new conservation opportunities to the communities. In partnership with Latino Outdoors, Canal Alliance and Sierra Club she is organizing camp outs, sunset/night bird walks, raffles, and kayaking trips. As these events are confirmed, they will be added to LatinoConservationWeek.com.
Fabiola’s passion for conservation and her commitment to advocating and engaging the Latino community was reinforced through her work with HAF and the U.S. Forest Service and it’s this dedication that makes her an inspiration.