In California, where the largest ethnic group is Hispanic, Latino voices were important to the creation of the Sand to Snow, Mojave Trails and Castle Mountains National Monuments. Latinos are now stepping up to make sure these monuments are kept intact. Twenty Latino groups have signed a joint letter to President Trump to emphasize their desire to see these locations, which they worked so hard to preserve, are not altered in anyway.
Hispanic Access Foundation alongside other Latino serving organizations like COFEM, have been bringing groups of Latinos to visit desert attractions they had often not visited before. A group of 60 Pastors read from the bible passages that instruct Christians to care for God’s Creation, then rode the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, to look out over the majesty of the desert. A group of young people visited the Living Zoo, and learned about the biodiversity in their desert. Other groups went on hiking, and backpacking trips and got to experience outdoor recreation like never before. In other events, families learned about how their ancestors might have traveled through the current day monuments on the Old Spanish Trail to arrive in California.
Hispanic Access Foundation and COFEM have been paring these experiences with information and access to forums where Latinos have been calling for the creation and now protection of these monuments, at public hearings, meeting with local decision makers and authoring opinion editorials.
To read the full letter click here.