José González – Founder/Director
José González is an experienced educator in formal and informal education settings with an array of associated interests in the arts, education, conservation, and the environment. He has broad experience as a K-12 public education teacher, environmental education advisor, outdoor education instructor and coordinator, and university adjunct faculty. He received his B.A at the University of California, Davis, and his M.S at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment. His teaching credential coursework was at the Bilingual Multicultural Education Department at California State University, Sacramento.
As a public school teacher, he taught courses in Spanish, Social Studies, Behavior Intervention for at-risk youth, and English Language Development in middle school and high school settings. As a Program Coordinator at San Jose State University with the California Mini-Corps Program, he trained and led groups of undergraduate students providing direct instructional services to migrant students in partner school districts and in outdoor education programs. At the University of Michigan, School of Education, he was an instructor for science education in their undergraduate program. Recently, at the National Hispanic University, he has taught course on Science Methods, Math Methods, Primary & Secondary Language Development, Latino Culture, and Technology Integration at the Teacher Education Department.
In his capacity developing LO, José looks forward to opportunities and collaborating with organizations seeking to diversify their outdoor and conservation programs. He is available for trainings, workshops, and speaking engagements around these topics.
Graciela Cabello – National Director (Los Angeles, CA)
Graciela is passionate about outdoor recreation. She is generally happy in any outdoor setting, but especially loves to hike, ski, cycle, rock climb, kayak, sit around a campfire looking at the stars, and much more. Her goal is to inspire others to form a connection with nature so in turn, they can protect it for generations ahead.
A California native, Graciela grew up playing in the outdoors year round. Her hiking introduction came at an early age during the summers when her family would camp in the Santa Ynez Valley, and her father and tíos would ascend the hills off-trail. Unaware of the trail system many public lands maintain, they would casually announce their desire to summit, or as they explained it, “Vamos a subir el cerro.” As a child she remembers bargaining with her dad to let her come along on the condition that she would tough it out, then loving every minute of being out in the wild. They would freely weave their way through chaparral, and other shrubs, with the reward of experiencing the hills up close and from a different perspective at the top. Since then, she has embarked on many outdoor adventures that have strengthened her connection and deep commitment to the environment, as well as guided groups on hikes and outdoor trips.
Her professional background is in media where she has a nine year history in project management, working hand-in-hand with film studios, television networks, and ad agencies on a multitude of marketing initiatives. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University, East Bay.
As Director, Graciela works on implementing our strategic vision, building capacity, and cultivating strong partnerships.
Eduardo González – Outings Leader, Sacramento, CA
Eduardo González is a student of the natural sciences at Sierra College. Born in Sacramento, CA, he is first generation Mexican-American. His parents hail from the state of Jalisco in México. Eduardo began working with youth as a student naturalist at Shady Creek Outdoor School in 2009, leading experiential education programs for 5th and 6th grade students. In recent years, he has been most active as a volunteer museum docent for Sierra College Natural History Museum, working with school groups from neighboring communities. Eduardo has also worked for the United States Forest Service (USFS) on the Plumas National Forest as a Forestry and Hydrologic Technician, working on various restoration projects and surveys. Having recently completed Leadership Training through Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT), he is excited to take on new challenges and adventures in leading group trips to the backcountry.
As Outings Leader for LO in Sacramento, Eduardo hopes to provide opportunities for Latino families and youth to experience the outdoors by organizing and leading day hikes, overnight camping, and backpacking trips, in the hopes that these experiences help (re)connect the people to the outdoors. Are you ready to get outdoors!?
Melissa Avery – Regional Coordinator, SF Bay Area, CA (East Bay)
Melissa Avery is an outdoor family blogger based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her Bachelor of Science at California State University Hayward (East Bay) in Business Administration/Accounting and entered the world of federal law enforcement for the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. Even though her work experience has been primarily financial and law enforcement, Melissa continues to explore her love of outdoors locally as well as adventuring down to South America to backpack the Salkantay and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
After leaving government work and entering motherhood, Melissa understood that being outdoors was essential to parenting and continued her outdoor lifestyle with her children. With camping, hiking, backpacking and anything outdoors among her activities, she and her family are up for a challenge. In August 2012, Melissa began blogging about her family outdoor adventures because so many of her friends and family were curious about her outdoor lifestyle. She was given the trail name “Chasqui Mom” because of her Peruvian heritage and motherhood, and used the name, http://www.chasquimom.com/, her blog identity as well, because just as the Chasquis were the Incan Emperor mountain runners that relayed important information, she wanted to be a messenger of the outdoors, in particular, to Latino families and youth.
Melissa is also a youth leader with her husband at her local church, Iglesia Esperanza Viva, where she has integrated a wilderness program into the church’s regular youth activities with much success. During her nine years as a leader, she has led many camping, hiking, backpacking and even international outreach and camping trips to Ensenada, Mexico with her junior high and high school students. Melissa believes that with all the complex issues our young people are confronted with, it is beneficial to give them the opportunity to gain real perspective on the world, understand true poverty and service, and develop integrity and character through exposure to the outdoors.
For LO, Melissa focuses her time partnering with organizations and facilitating outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, and backpacking with families and youth students in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Alicia Cruz – Regional Coordinator, SF Bay Area, CA (North Bay)
Alicia Cruz was born in Mexico City and moved to the US twenty-six years ago. She now volunteers over 30 hours a month as a coordinator for Latino Outdoors in Marin County. She joined Latino Outdoors in 2014 to support Latino engagement and recreation in public lands, by sharing her own passion and connection to nature. Since then she has led monthly Wellness Walks all over Marin County, San Francisco and the East Bay. Alicia has coordinated several family camping events this year including an annual family campout that is successfully now in its third year. She has also established key partnerships with organizations like REI, California State Parks, Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods and Sierra Club. She has introduced dozens of families to their first outdoor recreation experiences in National Parks, California State Parks and the surrounding areas in Marin County and beyond.
Alicia currently works full-time at the Department of Health & Human Services in Marin County, as a Bilingual Office Assistant.
Lesly Caballero – West Coast Coordinator (CA)
Lesly first became interested in bilingual environmental education when she became a high school volunteer at Petaluma Bounty, a community farm that provides healthy food for everyone, regardless of income. One of her roles was translating educational programs and weekly newsletters regarding healthy food guidelines and environmental sustainability. She then interned with Environment for the Americas on a project doing community outreach and bilingual environmental education as part of a diversity initiative. After that internship, she obtained a summer interpretive internship at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the Marin Headlands. During this internship, she provided interpretive programs on nature and cultural topics to the general public. Lesly volunteered with Point Blue Conservation Science, offering their elementary school outdoor programs in Spanish. In 2013, she interned with the United States Forest Service (USFS) in Alaska for 5 months doing wildlife research and bilingual outdoor education. Lesly is currently on the advisory board of Petaluma Bounty, leading discussions of cultural relevance in their programs. She has found it tremendously rewarding to expose Latino families and students to bilingual environmental education by teaching them about conservation values and natural environments. She has enjoyed these volunteer and internship experiences and is inspired to continue making these educational opportunities increasingly available to Latino communities.
Lesly will be representing LO at community events to network with and support like-minded organizations, coordinating and promoting LO outings and hikes in Sonoma and Marin Counties, and channeling LO’s overall vision by modeling strong leadership of Latinas in the outdoors.
Juan Telles – Regional Coordinator, California Central Valley
Juan Telles serves as a regional coordinator for the California Central Valley. He is also a Natural Leader for the Natural Leaders Network. Juan lives and works in Modesto, California. He strives to expand his own personal adventures by connecting with others and taking small steps towards substantial accomplishments.
He is excited to support Latino Outdoors by using his strengths to increase member and participant engagement. Juan enjoys spearheading public outreach projects and coordinating outdoor events in the Central Valley to get families outdoors.
Raquel Rangel – Regional Coordinator, California Central Valley
Raquel Rangel is a student at California State University, Stanislaus, majoring in Biological Science. She has volunteered with different organizations in the Central Valley, planting native shrubs and trees for different restoration projects and water monitoring, as well as banding geese for data collection. Raquel has discovered that her time spent as a volunteer, her involvement with the Geography Club on campus, and her involvement with the non-profit organization Tuolumne River Trust has helped her develop various life skills and has expanded her interest towards the outdoors.
Through her collaboration with LO, she hopes to get individuals and communities involved and interested in (re)connecting to the environment. By organizing different outings, she would like to demonstrate to participants what a beautiful place we live in and inspire them to play a part in conserving our home.
Cynthia Espinosa – Programs Assistant, East Coast (MA & VT)
Cynthia Espinosa Marrero is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Environmental Science with a concentration of Environmental Education at Antioch University New England in Keene, New Hampshire. Cynthia has worked at Nuestras Raices, Inc in Holyoke, Massachusetts, as the Farm Program Manager, where she discovered her passion for educating the community about food justice movements, gardening, and Latino cultural connections to food. She designed her B.A. in Sustainable Food Management at University of Massachusetts Amherst and was highly involved in the empowerment of women in higher education through Greek life. She enjoys learning about the food systems and traditions of other cultures through cooking. Her passion lies in empowerment of the community through food and environmental projects. Cynthia enjoys hiking, learning about forest ecology and indigenous knowledge.
She is currently a teaching apprentice with Permaculture FEAST (For Ecological and Social Transformation), a 72-hour permaculture design course and is planning on teaching permaculture in Spanish in the near future to reach the Latino community. Her ultimate goal is to teach at a community college part-time and run a self-sustaining farm.
Maribel Sierra – Ambassador, San Francisco Bay Area
Maribel Sierra is a first generation Mexican-American and a recent Bay Area transplant. Her hometown in Biscoe, North Carolina is surrounded by deciduous forest, most notably the nearby Uwharrie National Forest. Maribel loves her home state’s beautiful natural areas, from the mountains, to the piedmont and the outer banks.
After earning her B.A. in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill she became an organizer for Clean Water for North Carolina (CWFNC), an environmental justice organization. Her work there focused on research, outreach, and advocacy for statewide efforts against hydraulic fracturing, a highly controversial energy extraction method. She is currently an outreach and communications assistant for Global Health Fellows Program II, a program of the Public Health Institute and USAID, and hopes to pursue public health in the next stage of her career to advocate for and promote healthy communities.
Maribel believes experiences outdoors should be accessible to everyone and she’s enthusiastic about working within the Latino community to help achieve that goal.
Lili Muñoz – Ambassador, Los Angeles
Lili Muńoz is a University of California, Santa Cruz, Banana Slug alumni! She is also a Docent for the Puente Hills Preservation Authority. Although she grew up in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, she loves being in the outdoors. Nature has always been a place for her to escape the chaos of city life. She loves learning about the flora and fauna surrounding Los Angeles. Lili joins Latino Outdoors to encourage more Latinos to explore the outdoors, teach them about the biodiversity of Los Angeles, and bridge a connection towards nature. She feels that being in the outdoors teaches people to appreciate and protect nature, while also providing better physical and mental health.
Laura Torres – Contributor, Los Angeles
A lover of life and nature, Laura is currently working as a community organizer for the Little Green Fingers Collaborative – a project of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust. In her role she helps engage community members in the design process of new gardens, and helps foster garden leaders to ensure the long-term sustainability of the gardens.
Laura was born in Mexico City, where her connection to nature began with her family’s devotion to home cooked meals and connection to local foods. Her family is originally from an urban small town in Oaxaca and nature is an essential component of daily life, with celebrations that have been passed on from generation to generation and across borders.
She obtained her B.A. in Spanish from Grinnell College in Iowa, and her M.A. in Latin American Studies from Cal State Los Angeles. Later she combined her love for the outdoors with her academic and immigration activism. Participating in “Tour de Dreams” in 2010 was a transformational experience that really solidified her commitment to combine her passion for protecting the environment, access to education for all, and immigration reform.
As a Latino Outdoors Contributor for Los Angeles, Laura will be focused on sharing the great work and activities Latinos are engaging in. This will primarily be done though blogs that combine video interviews with some text. She wants you to share your story and your connection to nature with Latino Outdoors!
David Garcia – Ambassador, Seattle
David is a bonafide bird nerd and spends most of his free time birding in Seattle parks and around the Pacific Northwest. Growing up in San Diego, David spent most of his childhood barefoot exploring the rolling hills and sandy beaches native to San Diego. David earned his B.A. in Environmental Policy from Fordham University in New York, where he volunteered at the New York Botanical Gardens as an environmental educator. David now lives in Seattle and works at Seattle Audubon Society providing environmental education and outdoor (bird-focused) experiences for children & youth. David plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Urban Environmental Education.
David’s most formative experiences growing up were in natural places or at the local nature center, so he is passionate about providing opportunities for all youth to have similar experiences connecting with nature in their communities and beyond.
As a Latino Outdoors Ambassador for Seattle, David will continue to provide outdoor learning experiences for young people in Seattle, and grow the LO familia by sharing his adventures within the community.
Ana Beatriz Cholo – Ambassador
Ana grew up being told that the outdoors and doing adventurous things was not for girls. When she was 17, she signed up for her first adventure – enlisting in the U.S. Navy.
After boot camp in Orlando, Florida and training in Meridian, Mississippi, she spent the following two years on the USS Simon Lake in Scotland. She was fond of telling her shipmates that women can be as strong as men and she proved that by lugging heavy boxes up and down steep ladders, working with the Seabees in Puerto Rico all while wearing a cute, olive-green uniform, doing light construction, driving a forklift and being in charge of a supply warehouse.
A daughter of Colombian and Brazilian parents, her native languages are Spanish and Portuguese. Ana’s first tent camping experience came later in life and that is when she fell head over heels in love with the outdoors, nature and spending time in the middle-of-nowhere. She loves hanging out with her 7-year-old son, hiking, backpacking, climbing mountains, cycling, kayaking, participating in triathlons and doing anything that sounds adventurous.
She is a former award-winning journalist who has worked for The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, the Associated Press and the Press-Telegram in Long Beach. Her work has appeared in TIME magazine, The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and other news outlets. She graduated from the University of Southern California and holds a dual degree in History and Print Journalism from the Annenberg School of Journalism & Communication.
As a Latino Outdoors National Communications and Outings Coordinator for Los Angeles, Ana will share her knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the outdoors and publicize our efforts to the national media.
Josie Gutierrez – Ambassador, Southwest Region
Deeply rooted in the Latino community anchored by her father’s highly visible fame as the first Chicano feature-length filmmaking pioneer, Josie has had a lifelong dedication in celebrating the love of her heritage. Making cameo appearances in just about every film produced since the early age of 5. Josie shares her father’s passion as an activist with a story to tell. She founded the FitFunand blog which has established a significant following. Leveraging her message in this way, Josie is able to share her enthusiasm for outdoor fitness globally.
In her hometown of San Antonio, she keeps busy organizing running groups and outdoor events for her friends and co-workers. She ran her very first marathon at age 40 and she hasn’t stopped running ever since! Her attitude of “anything is possible at any age” is what she hopes to promote.
Josie has spent decades connecting to nature and loves nothing more than to share her love for the outdoors with her family, friends and followers. On any given weekend you will likely find Josie outdoors connecting, learning & exploring. Born and raised In San Antonio, TX Josie has had a wonderful outdoor playground, the Texas Hill Country. Openly sharing each step of her life’s journey, her intention is to awaken the childlike wonderment in all of us.
As an Ambassador for Latino Outdoors in the Southwest, Josie will engage, encourage and promote her love for Mother Nature in outdoor adventures and activities. Josie blogs at fitfunand.com (check it out!).
Gabe Vasquez, Regional Coordinator, Las Cruces, NM
Gabe Vasquez is a first-generation native of El Paso, Texas, with family roots in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Gabe works as director of communications for a children’s advocacy nonprofit organization in Washington D.C. A graduate of New Mexico State University, he spent nearly a decade in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he worked as a newspaper editor, public relations professional, and most recently for a US Senator where he helped lead a public lands campaign to designate the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. Gabe is an avid hiker, trail runner, and fisherman.
Michelle Piñon – Coordinator, Seattle
Hailing from sunny Southern California, Michelle is a Seattle transplant working to protect the Puget Sound. Her initial attraction to environmentalism arose while organizing against workers’ rights violations in the food industry. Through activism within her community, she began to question how communities form and connect to nature.
Michelle spends her free time exploring the US and learning about regional environmental issues (all while dodging wayward bears and enduring Gulf Coast heat waves). Michelle is excited to pursue her lifelong dream of living in the great Northwest, frolicking in alpine meadows and hiking with mountain goats.
As a Latino Outdoors Ambassador for the West Coast, Michelle will strive to reconnect folks to the nature by organizing hikes, bike rides and kayak paddles.
Miché Lozano – Ambassador, Chico, CA
Miché is an immigrant, first-generation, Gender-Queer, Xicanx/Latinx who was born in Mexico and grew up in southern Arizona in the Yuma desert. Their passion for the outdoors developed from an obsession with animals at a young age. They study Conservation Biology and Environmental science at Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff, Arizona where they are a member of the NAU rock-climbing club. Miché is currently a volunteer instructor at the Flagstaff Climbing Center and is involved with local community activism and has a passion for social justice.
As a Latino Outdoors Ambassador for Flagstaff Arizona, Miché will connect with other professionals and leaders to create outreach projects for marginalized groups to experience the outdoors. They are a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Bilingual in Spanish and English, and well-versed in local and regional ecology.
They are passionate about the education of outdoor recreation, outdoor etiquette, Leave No Trace (LNT), climate change, and nature conservation. Miché wants to create positive outdoor experiences that will be documented through writing and photography ( if camera-phone photography is a thing).
Andres Esparza – Ambassador, Laramie, Wyoming
Andres Esparza is a graduate student at Western State Colorado University and the Colorado ambassador for Latino Outdoors. His years of experience in outdoor education and outdoor recreation have left him with a deep and profound love and respect of our public lands. Through his work with Latino Outdoors and land management agencies (NPS and BLM) he is working on assessing the cultural relevancy of public lands in Colorado and nationwide. Through these partnerships, Andres hopes to examine potential barriers to visitation of our public lands by diverse audiences. His vision for the future of public lands is culturally relevant and accessible nature experiences for all who desire one.
As a Latino Outdoors Colorado Ambassador for Gunnison, CO, Andres will carry out his Masters project focused on connecting underrepresented communities to their public lands. He will also serve as a point of contact in the Colorado area to help facilitate the process of discussing the cultural relevancy of public lands; both in Colorado and across the nation.
Alfonso Orozco – Coordinator, Laramie, Wyoming
Alfonso was born in agricultural Hollister, CA but grew up in Oakland. His interest in the outdoors was sparked from an Outdoor Leadership class he took at San Francisco State University, from which he later received a B.S. in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration. When he realized that backpacking existed, he made a personal goal of learning how to backpack. Little did he know that this interest would turn into a lifelong passion and career. It began with a Yosemite backpacking trip and evolved into positions with Bay Area Wilderness Training, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Alcatraz National Park, and Virgin Islands National Park. He quickly realized that he had a passion for the outdoors and education! With those two things in his heart he packed up all of his swim suits and sunscreen bottles and left his Virgin Islands position to to pursue a graduate degree in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He is currently working towards a Masters of Science in Natural Science Education at Teton Science School. In September of 2016, Alfonso will be promoting the Latino Outdoors mission from Laramie, Wyoming. In May of 2016, Outdoor 30 Under 30 recognized Alfonso as a young outdoor professional who is “challenging the status quo and driving the outdoor industry forward.”
As a Latino Outdoors Coordinator for the state of Wyoming, Alfonso will work to connect Latino families and young adults to the outdoors.
Asnoldo Benitez – Ambassador, Westminster, Colorado
Asnoldo was born in Pocatello, Idaho and moved to Colorado at age 14. His interest in the outdoors developed while exploring, observing, and discussing nature with his grandmother. As a Boy Scout, he learned how to enjoy nature with respect and preparedness. He feels most connected to the cottonwood tree –they have become a symbol of connection to his family, community, and the earth.
He graduated in 2009 with a degree in Civil Engineering. As a 2014 participant with the Natural Leaders Network, he was inspired to change career paths and build a canoe. He is currently the Outdoor Outreach Coordinator at Environment for the Americas (EFTA) – home of the international migratory bird day. Asnoldo enjoys bicycling, gardening, hiking, backpacking and DIY projects.
As an Ambassador for Colorado, Asnoldo will engage the Latino community in sharing outdoor stories and experiences, while also helping build LO’s national infrastructure as a member of the Program Committee.
Bella Furr – Coordinator, Jackson, Wyoming
Bella Furr was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She always appreciated nature but really began her love of the environment in high school where she took a Field Studies course. It allowed her to study her backyard and really understand how the environment shapes our lives! She studied at the University of Arizona, graduating in Natural Resources with a focus on Wildlife Conservation and Management in 2012. For the past two years, she has worked with Saguaro National Park as the Community Outreach and Centennial Coordinator. Currently, Bella is pursuing a Masters in Natural Science with a focus on Environmental Education at the Teton Science School in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
As a Latino Outdoors Coordinator for Jackson Hole, WY, Bella will interact with the local community to engage people in outdoor education, experiences and opportunities! She is excited to engage families in place-based education and exploration.
Graciela (Chela) Garcia Irlando – Regional Coordinator, Denver, Colorado
Chela was born in Palo Alto, California and moved to Colorado at the age of 13. She is currently studying to become a yoga instructor through the Satya Yoga Immersion for People of Color. From a young age, Chela always preferred to be outside in her free time, exploring and learning from Mother Nature herself. She currently lives in Denver and loves to explore the Rockies – hiking, biking, fishing, snowboarding, gardening, and soaking in the Colorado sunshine!
She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a degree in Ethnic Studies and International Affairs. Chela feels most connected to this earth when she is outdoors, with her hands in the dirt or on top of a mountain where she reflects on our role as guardians of this beautiful place all beings call home.
As a Regional Coordinator for Colorado, Chela plans to organize and encourage the Latino community and youth to engage in the outdoors and to continue our story as caretakers of this land. She will organize outings and community gatherings to inspire Latino participation to preserve and enjoy the fresh Rocky Mountain air.
Remigio Mateo – Ambassador, Los Angeles, CA
Remi, who was born and raised in the Echo Park/Rampart neighborhood of Los Angeles, knew he was serious about hiking and the outdoors when he started spending much of his paycheck at REI. He’s explored Guatemala and visited the Mayan pyramids and plans on visiting ancient pyramids and monuments all over the world.
In the past, Remi was a casual hiker who would visit local trails a handful of times per year. Things changed for him in 2015, however, when he joined the 52 Hike Challenge, a movement that pushed him to explore his vast city more broadly and consistently for 52 consecutive weeks.
Remi graduated from California State University of Northridge with a degree in Sociology. He is currently a graduate student at Presidio Graduate School and expects to receive a Master of Public Administration in Sustainable Management in 2018.
He’s currently expanding his knowledge and skills of the outdoors by taking the Sierra Club’s Wilderness Travel Course, a 10-week program that educates people on outdoor survival and leadership skills. After successfully completing two Sierra Club wilderness experiences, he expects to graduate from the program in October 2016.
As a Latino Outdoors Ambassador for Los Angeles, Remi will connect Latino families to the beautiful areas of Southern California.
Joe Camacho – Ambassador, Seattle, Washington
Joe was born and raised in beautiful sunny Southern California. Although his home was located in the middle of a city (Pomona), he would spend time outdoors with his family at local parks and in the mountains north of Los Angeles. He followed his passion for nature and attended Humboldt State University where he completed his undergraduate degree in environmental education. Most recently he completed a one year residency program at IslandWood, an environmental education school on Bainbridge Island, WA. Currently, Joe is a graduate student at the University of Washington studying science education and is the president of the UW-SACNAS Chapter.
As a Latino Outdoors ambassador for Seattle, Joe will explore and learn in nature with his community.
Jennifer Adams – Regional Coordinator, SF Bay Area, CA (South Bay)
Jennifer was born and raised in San Jose, California. Her mother placed a seed for adventure by taking her to parks and allowing her to explore with her brother. As she got older her excitement for adventure grew stronger and her adventures expanded from just hikes to camping, biking, and kayaking.
She is working on her ecology evolutionary biology degree and one day would also like to be a teacher where she hopes to inspire students to find what they are passionate about. She also wants to try to preserve or restore habitats in the bay area so future generations can enjoy it.
As a Latino Outdoors Ambassador/Volunteer Coordinator for South Bay, Jennifer will help connect Latinos to the outdoors by reaching out to other organization that we could partner with. She will also display images on social media of amazing places to hike locally and other adventures she has.
Xitlaly Reyes – Ambassador, Tucson, AZ
Xitlaly was born in Yuma, Arizona to immigrant parents and raised in Blythe, California both towns are large agricultural communities located within the Sonoran Desert. Currently, Xitlaly lives in Tucson, Arizona and is working towards earning a bachelor’s in Latin American and Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona.
Xitlaly is working with CRiA (Collaborative Research in Action) to guide high school students through community research projects. Some of the students research topics revolve around police brutality, oppression, immigration, racism, and sexism. Xitlaly is also working with the Saguaro National Park on a project called “Lideres del Sendero”, a latino young adult hiking club. This project will connect the Latino community in Tucson to nature, hiking, and the great outdoors—-including Saguaro National Park.
As a Latino Outdoors Ambassador for Tucson, Arizona, Xitlaly will help connect the Latino/a community to the public lands in and around Tucson.
Albert Arevalo, Ambassador, Washington D.C
A native Texan and lover of BBQ, Albert is a proud alumnus of Texas State University-San Marcos—Eat ‘Em Up, Cats! Albert is passionate about making services accessible to everyone, particular minorities and low income communities. He been fortunate to work alongside colleagues and organizations that align with his moral compass. From connecting youth to their local parks to leading a Regional Litter Campaign in DC Albert is dedicated to improving the quality of life of the individuals he works with. In his free time, Albert loves to play tennis, hike, tweet on behalf of @PetTurtleOliver, and play kickball.
Daniel Tubera, Ambassador, Central Valley, CA
Daniel Tubera is a passionate outdoor enthusiast and an astute son of Mother Nature. His love for nature stems from his mother and father who spent many years showing him the value of life outdoors. He attributes his green thumb to his mother, who spent many summers helping in the family garden; his sense of adventure and wanderlust stems from his father and from his affinity for the great outdoors. Growing up, Daniel spent many different seasons camping and visiting the local areas taking great interest in exploring the Sierra Nevadas, in particular the Stanislaus National Forest.
Writing and photography are his lifelong passion; he is currently majoring in Liberal Studies and intends on pursuing a career in photojournalism. His favorite outdoor activities are kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, and camping.
Daniel’s vision as an Ambassador for Latino Outdoors is to bring an acute awareness of the fragility of Mother Nature and to culture a keen understanding of how humans play the most crucial role in protecting her by helping others reconnect to their natural roots. Simply stated, he wants to see people get up, get out, and get reconnected.
As an ambassador, Daniel will support LO with their volunteer operations.
Daisy Rios Revele, Ambassador, Humboldt County, CA
Daisy is from Corona, California and is the first female in her family to have attended a university. Growing up she developed a relationship with the outdoors on camping trips with her family at a young age and was attached ever since. She has a passion for communicating and educating children about the environment. Daisy Rios graduated from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Management and Protection Major with an emphasis in Education and Interpretation. At Humboldt State, she was a staff member at the Latin@ Center of Academic Excellence where she utilized her position to connect with students and staff members regarding diversity in outdoor spaces.
As a Latino Outdoors Ambassador for Humboldt County, Daisy will engage online and in her community to diversify our outdoor spaces, connecting children and adults to nature.
Ruby Garcia, Executive Projects Coordinator, Humboldt County CA
Ruby Jean was born and raised in Fresno, California, where agriculture ignited a love for outdoor spaces. Growing up, she was intrigued by nature’s restorative qualities and humankind’s capacity for growth. These interests developed into a deep-rooted passion for outdoor recreation, an endeavor Ruby Jean believes to be an avenue for empowerment.
Today, Ruby Jean lives in Arcata, Ca. where she graduated from Humboldt State University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Recreation Administration. She is a member of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and volunteers at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center in her free time. Her strong interests include Diversity and Inclusion, Self-Determination, and Community Development. In the future, Ruby Jean plans to continue her education using these interests to guide her research. To learn more about her, visit her here.
As the Executive Projects Coordinator, Ruby Jean’s work is heavily centered on supporting LO Leadership. Some of her favorite tasks include those associated with communications and partnership management. She provides guidance and support to LO staff as needed, and continuously seeks out meaningful ways to advance the LO mission.
Carlos Jorge Miranda, Website Coordinator, San Francisco CA
Born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission district and currently resides there as well. Carlos gained a love for the outdoors through trips as a child throughout California and Baja Mexico with his Aunts and Uncles . Currently a student at The University of San Francisco and works for City College of San Francisco. Father to a little boy named Mayuteo and a husband to Veronica. Carlos is very active in the community working with educational programs like Puente, bridging community college and University students as well as working with Disabled students to provide support and mentorship. As an inner city youth Carlos was exposed to the harsh realities of poverty and juvenile wardship. This history has ignited a passion in education, social justice and inclusion for all underrepresented groups.
As a Latino Outdoors National Web Coordinator, Carlos will bridge the gap with the outdoors and technology, utilizing technology as a tool to inform and express our immense passion to seek nature where we can.
Krystle N. Ramos, Ambassador, Los Angeles, CA
Dedicated to forming connections between the community and the outdoors, Krystle works as a guide leading experiential education trips for students of all ages and backgrounds. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she graduated from California State University, Northridge where she received her B.A. in Linguistics. As a child, her family planned camping and hiking trips where she discovered the joy of getting dirty and the rewards of pushing herself outside of her comfort zone. Since then Krystle has remained involved in the outdoors in various ways: student, educator, and advocate. She officially became part of the outdoor ed community in 2012 when she enrolled in recreation courses at her university. In 2013 she began and still continues to teach leadership and team building, practices Leave No Trace principles, and has become a Wilderness First Responder; she has led programs in the Los Angeles Area, Northern California, Costa Rica, and Thailand. * In addition to contributing to Latino Outdoors, Krystle enjoys exploring trails, backpacking, bagging peaks, building calluses at the crag, and/or drinking Mexican hot chocolate with her niece. *
As a Latino Outdoors Regional Coordinator for Los Angeles, Krystle will seek to share her sense of adventure, appreciation for nature, and respect for all cultures with one and all by coordinating and promoting LO events, and increasing community engagement. She is passionate about providing a safe, fun, and welcoming environment for anyone interested in challenging themselves in new and exciting ways that foster growth and self-confidence.
Maricela Rosales – Coordinator, Los Angeles CA
Maricela grew up in the heart of Los Angeles. Coming from a working class background she did not have true exposure to the outdoors until later in life. Maricela found her passion in climbing and the outdoors while attending UC Riverside where she graduated with a BA degree in Sociology/ Law & Society. Through her exposure to the outdoors Maricela pushed through disability barriers and found her calling. Maricela began working for Mad Rock Climbing as a tech rep and brand ambassador which, paved the way to further educating and immersing herself in the outdoor industry and the community. Maricela also works for Disability Rights Legal Center as the Community Advocacy Program Coordinator. Her work as coordinator is connecting the disability community with critical legal information and resources.
As a Latino Outdoors Coordinator for Los Angeles, Maricela will connect under-represented communities to their local State and National Parks. Organizing monthly hikes, climbing events, and expanding accessibility to different types of outings. Fostering excitement, advocacy, and stewardship. Maricela brings her nonprofit experience in leadership development and training from her previous work in community outreach, and engagement. Her mission is to create a snowball effect that enhances the experience of Spanish-speaking families and to build a strong awareness of the organization’s mission.