#VamosOutdoors in the South Bay con Jennifer Adams

Joining Jennifer, our LO Coordinator in the SF Bay Area South Bay, on a family nature hike you may not know the lineage and heritage she carries in her blood and with every step. But that becomes very clear once you have a conversation with her mom—and you learn about the strength and resiliency she carries, as well as the connection to nature and the outdoors at an early age.

Jennifer is a biology student—a major she chose to learn more about the natural world and share that passion with others. And it also connects with whyy she was interested in volunteering for Latino Outdoors:

 “I know so many people that don’t engage in outdoors activities because it’s not a focus in our culture. I am bilingual, and would love to get the chance to engage our youth and hope to inspire them to pursue a career helping our planet and enjoying nature.”

On a recent community hike with Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, she reminded me of the first LO hike she joined—one I had set up with Santa Clara County Parks so she could see what we were trying to do with our “Familias Outdoors” idea with Latino Outdoors. Basically, “what does it look like to invite families that otherwise may not engage in outdoor activities due to a host of real or perceived barriers? And what happens when the barriers are tackled?”

This was back in September 27, 2015 and it was a powerful reminder of the work that our volunteers do not just in the San Francisco Bay Area, but throughout the state and in other parts of the country.

That day we were led by a Latino ranger, Fernando Elias, who was at times more excited than us to share what he did and where he worked. He was diligent, prepared, patient, and overall conveyed a sense of pride to be of service to la comunidad. As someone that had been peppering ideas throughout the Bay Area, I was hoping this would be one of several outings that could happen in the South Bay and Peninsula but I needed help—I needed a team that could make it happen for the long run. Into that idea and desire stepped in Jennifer that day, excited, observant, and eager to help.

Jennifer reminded me how that day we were powerfully impacted by families coming to visit a park that most of them had never visited before—in fact, it could be easy to get lost in getting there. But once there, the magic of nature and the experience of being outdoors led the rest of the way. The Santa Clara County Parks ranger shared “all the cool stuff” in a ranger vehicle and he brought out pelts for the kids to touch and wonder where they came from. Then we were off on a hike where he paused and shared information about the landscape as a naturalist. And it was there that a mother shared with us how impactful this outing was—that it had been quite some time since she and her kids had been out and simply enjoyed being together outside since the passing of her husband. That it was special to see her kids smile and play in this setting because they had been through a difficult time.

To be honest I had forgotten about that moment, but it came rushing back to me when Jennifer reminded me—and it reminded me of so many other similar moments with families on other Latino Outdoors outings. The power of nature, familia, y cultura coming together.  And here we were in 2017, sitting at a table at Pichetti preserve, with Jennifer’s family, with her mom sharing how special it was to be here with her daughter, and sharing her life story of what brought her to the us, and how she became a more resilient woman.

I could only sit there with pride—and again reminded of the power of nature, familia, and cultura coming together, and the leadership of Latino Outdoors volunteers helping to continue to drive this forward and making it happen.

Jose Gonzalez is the Founder and Executive Director of Latino Outdoors. He also doodles, thinks, and helps other organizations with diversity, equity, and inclusion work in the outdoors. 

How Cesar Chavez Inspired My Journey to Environmentalism

By Laura Torres


As we recognize Cesar Chavez Day today, I find myself reflecting on how Chavez’s life and teachings influenced my own life, and shaped my perspective of what it means to be an environmentalist.

In 1997, I transitioned from elementary to middle school. Beyond the superficial changes, (from collecting Lisa Frank stickers and wearing a lot of pink to wearing only dark colors, crazy hoop earrings and way too much eyeliner, and lipstick too) my mind was also transforming.

My English teacher Mr. Duenas, thankfully, recognized that many of my classmates were experiencing similar evolutions.  He was patient and understanding with his squirrely class, and treated us with respect. He became our advocate when he made it his mission to teach us about our Mexican-American history. I was immediately drawn to Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and the many leaders associated with the farmworkers’ struggles. I also gained a new appreciation and understanding for what it meant to be a leader


Learning about Cesar Chavez, I gained an understanding of what it looks like when communities like mine take a stand for their own health and wellness. The 1990’s was a difficult time for my community of Boyle Heights and I was familiar with struggle. As I learned about the violence Cesar Chavez and other farmers faced, I felt angry. However, I became inspired when I learned about his organizing. Upon understanding the story of the grape strike, I felt hopeful to know that people can make an impact and demand a life with dignity. And I felt empowered to know that I too could improve conditions in my own community.

Aside from the grape strike and hunger strikes that he is primarily known for, Chavez was concerned about the damage that humans cause to the earth. In learning about his life and the early work of the United Farm Workers, it is clear Cesar Chavez was creating a movement that was about much more than labor rights. He had a vision of a better quality of life for the poor, one in which the environment was healthy, too.

He was frustrated by the lack of awareness of threats to the planet, stating, “It’s amazing how people can get so excited about a rocket to the moon and not give a damn about smog, oil leaks, the devastation of the environment with pesticides, hunger, disease. When the poor share some of the power that the affluent now monopolize, we will give a damn.”

I began to question the conditions in my community. Chavez’s fight for a life with dignity made me see that my family experienced so many of the same struggles of working in painful conditions for low pay. This stuck with me through my college years, where I learned about how communities of color are the most affected by pollution. I thought of Boyle Heights, where I grew up, which is surrounded by freeways and adjacent to factories. I thought of the cement-covered LA River, and of the difficulties my community faces in accessing healthy food and open green space. Chavez’s analysis of power and his dedication to organizing made me feel the responsibility to organize and look at power structures in my own life. And this was the dawn of my professional career as an organizer; I want to know that I am active in reminding my community that we have power when we organize.

Cesar Chavez once said, “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.” This comment has stayed with me through my career, from my years as an education-focused organizer to present day.

I learned a lot in my time working with parents in my previous positions as a parent advocate, community organizer, and project manager for community gardens. Many of the parents I worked with were immigrants from Latin America, and I distinctly recall a nostalgia for the nature of their homeland. They shared how they raised their own food and grew up playing outdoors. Many lamented that their children would not experience a childhood in the hills, bonding with animals or simply being able to breathe fresh air. As I became friends with some of them on social media, they would marvel at my pictures of hikes. They were shocked that I could access the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains.  They had only known the San Gabriels as a faraway background or the Santa Monica Mountains as a place in which they worked for rich people but had no idea that they were public lands. I found myself spending time chatting with them about self-care by eating healthy food and the importance of spending time outdoors.  I saw the opportunity to connect our conversations on food to the legacy of Cesar Chavez.

Chavez was an environmentalist who grew organic food and incorporated hikes, meditation and prayer into his daily life. His connection to nature and his regular hikes were the self-care, which provided him with strength to continue to advocate for a life with dignity. His close connection to the land and tremendous respect for nature is a reminder that the word ‘environmentalist’ takes many shapes. Being an environmentalist goes deeper than knowing where the closest organic co-op is, or staying up to date on the latest eco-trends. It’s about having respect for the environment and a willingness to care for nature in our everyday lives.

In my own life, I seek time outdoors to clear my head, to relieve the stress of city life, and to rekindle my sense of adventure. I have come to believe that access to natural spaces is essential for improving one’s quality of life. I experienced the benefits of spending time in nature in my own life, and began to share it with friends
and family. I officially  joined Latino Outdoors as a volunteer in 2015 as I felt need to increase the representations of Latinos, and, more specifically, Latinas in the outdoors. Joining Latino Outdoors has helped me embrace my culture and connect with some amazing people. Being a part of this group reminds me of Cesar Chavez outlook, “Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures”.
Access to nature has become a major part of my career, through advocating for an expanded Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area that would reach more Los Angeles-area communities and foster stronger connections to nature. I have no doubt that increased access to nature is beneficial for LA. I am grateful to combine my passion for conservation and preservation of history in my work.

The teachings of Cesar Chavez, by way of Mr. Duenas, had a profound impact on my life that continue to present themselves each day. Cesar Chavez is an example of someone who committed himself to organizing for an improved quality of life, while keeping his cultural practices and connecting with the environment. I am inspired to do the same as I work to connect Angelinos to public lands and preserve the great legacy of Cesar Chavez, at Cesar Chavez National Monument, and to expand his and the farmworkers’ story through sites across California and Arizona. Like Cesar Chavez, I am an environmentalist, because I believe it’s an essential part of living a better quality of life. On Cesar Chavez Day and each day forward, I will work to advocate for fair representation in our National Park System and speak up for opportunities to share the stories of Cesar Chavez and the many people who helped shape our country’s shared history. Si se puede!







LO February Survey Raffle Prize Rules

Latino Outdoors Prize basket Raffle

(Para Español sigua hasta abajo de la pagina.)

Latino Outdoors in partnership with University of Wyoming is launching a study to analysis the Mission Statement and Organizational Performance. An online survey link through email will be sent using a Latino Outdoors maintained email list-serve and will be shared via two Latino Outdoors social media accounts– Instagram and Facebook.  At the end of the online survey, participants will be asked if they would like to participate in follow-up phone interview. 5-10 participants will be selected randomly to participate in the phone interview.


Rules and Eligibility

All respondents who complete the survey are eligible and may chose to enter their name into a raffle for one Latino Outdoors prize basket, a max value of 30$. (May include water bottle, t-shirt, sticker, and/or REI gift card etc.)

No purchase necessary. This sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia (except residents of Rhode Island) who are at least age 18 (or the age of majority under applicable law). If you do not meet any of these requirements, or any other eligibility requirements in these official rules, you are not eligible to win a prize, and Latino Outdoors reserves the right not to award prizes to you. The Sweepstakes starts at February 6th, at 12:01 am MST and ends on February 19th at 11:59 pm MST. All entries must be received during the Sweepstakes Period to be eligible to win a prize.

How to Enter

All submissions must be entered at tinyurl.com/LOsurvey2017 after survey has been completed. Limit one entry per person. Latino Outdoors Prize basket Raffle include: A prize with a max value of 30$. (May include water bottle, t-shirt, sticker, and/or REI gift card etc.) Latino Outdoors will provide funds for the prize basket.

Selection and Notification of Winner

Winner will be determined by a random drawing from all eligible entries, to be held at University of Wyoming. Need not be present to win. Winner will be notified by telephone or email message. To claim the prize, winner should follow the instructions contained in his or hers notification.

Odds of winning a prize depend on number of eligible entries received. ALL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL TAXES ASSOCIATED WITH THE RECEIPT OR USE OF ANY PRIZES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNER. All Prizes will be awarded. If a Prize is returned as undeliverable or otherwise not claimed within ten (10) days after delivery of notification, the Prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner selected by a second random drawing from all remaining eligible entries. All Prizes are awarded “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including, without limitation, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose).

General Release

By entering the Sweepstakes, you release Latino Outdoors and all Released Parties from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, for any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or

damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Sweepstakes or delivery, mis-delivery, acceptance, possession, or use of or inability to use any Prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory.

Use of Winner’s Name, Likeness, etc.

Except where prohibited by law, entry into the Sweepstakes constitutes permission to use winner’s name, likeness, persona, hometown, and/or Prize information in all media now known or later devised throughout the universe in perpetuity for all purposes Latino Outdoors deems appropriate including, without limitation, for promotional and publicity purposes, without further permission or compensation. As a condition of being awarded any Prize, except where prohibited by law, winner may be required to execute a written consent, confirming Latino Outdoors right to use such winner’s name, likeness, persona, hometown, and/or Prize information without further permission or compensation.

Winner List; Rules Request. For a copy of the winner list or official rules send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope after February 6th, at 12:01 am MST and before February 19th at 11:59 pm MST. to 607 S 10th Street Laramie Wyoming 82070.


The Sweepstakes and these Official Rules will be governed, construed and interpreted under the laws of the state of California, U.S.A. Entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and by the decisions of Latino Outdoors, which are final and binding in all respects. Latino Outdoors reserves the right to change these Official Rules at any time, in its sole discretion, and to suspend or cancel the Sweepstakes or any entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes should viruses, bugs, unauthorized human intervention, or other causes beyond Latino Outdoors control affect the administration, security or proper play of the Sweepstakes, or Latino Outdoors otherwise becomes (as determined in its sole discretion) incapable of running the Sweepstakes as planned, in which event all Prizes will be awarded via a random drawing from among all eligible entries received prior to cancellation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Latino Outdoors reserves the right to amend, modify, or cancel the Sweepstakes at any time without notice. Entrants who violate these Official Rules; violate any law, rule, or regulation in connection with participation in the Sweepstakes; tamper with the operation of the Sweepstakes; or engage in any conduct that is detrimental or unfair to Latino Outdoors , the Sweepstakes, or any other entrant (in each case as determined in Latino Outdoors sole discretion) are subject to disqualification from entry into the Sweepstakes. Any provision of these Official Rules deemed unenforceable will be enforced to the extent permissible, and the remainder of these Official Rules will remain in effect. If you have any questions about these Official Rules or the Sweepstakes, please e-mail them to Alfonso@latinooutdoors.org

Sweepstakes Sponsor: Latino Outdoors



Rifa de Canasta de Premio de Latino Outdoors

Latino Outdoors en asociación con la Universidad de Wyoming está poniendo en marcha un estudio para el análisis de la Declaración de la Misión y de la organización. Un enlace de la encuesta en línea a través de correo electrónico será enviado a través de un correo electrónico y será compartida a través de dos medios sociales de Latino Outdoors — Instagram y Facebook. Al final de la encuesta en línea, se les pedirá a los participantes si les gustaría participar en la entrevista telefónica de seguimiento. 5-10 participantes serán seleccionados al azar para participar en la entrevista telefónica.


Normas y criterios de elegibilidad

Todos los encuestados que completen la encuesta son elegibles y pueden optar por ingresar su nombre en un sorteo de una cesta de premios de Latino Outdoors, un valor máximo de 30 $. (Puede incluir una botella de agua, una camiseta, etiqueta engomada, y / o tarjeta de regalo REI etc.)

No es necesario comprar. Este sorteo está abierto a residentes legales de los cincuenta (50) Estados Unidos y el Distrito de Columbia (excepto los residentes de Rhode Island) que tengan al menos 18 años de edad (o la mayoría de edad bajo la ley aplicable). Si usted no cumple con cualquiera de estos requisitos, o cualquier otro requisito de elegibilidad en estas reglas oficiales, usted no es elegible para ganar un premio, y Latino Outdoors se reserva el derecho de no otorgar premios a usted. El Sorteo comienza el 6 de febrero a las 12:01 am MST y termina el 19 de febrero a las 11:59 pm MST. Todas las participaciones deben ser recibidas durante el período del sorteo para ser elegible para ganar un premio.

Cómo participar

Todas las observaciones se debe introducir en tinyurl.com/LOsurvey2017 tras encuesta se ha completado. Límite de una participación por persona. La canasta de rifa incluyen: Un premio con un valor máximo de 30 $. (Puede incluir una botella de agua, una camiseta, etiqueta engomada, y / o REI tarjeta de regalo, etc.) Latino Outdoors proporcionará fondos para la cesta premio.

Selección y Notificación del ganador

El ganador será determinado por un sorteo al azar entre todas las participaciones elegibles, que tendrá lugar en la Universidad de Wyoming. No es necesario estar presente para ganar. El ganador será notificado por teléfono o mensaje de correo electrónico. Para reclamar el premio, el ganador deberá seguir las instrucciones contenidas en él o de ella notificación.

Las probabilidades de ganar un premio dependen del número de inscripciones elegibles recibidas. Todos los impuestos federales, estatales y locales RELACIONADOS CON LA RECEPCIÓN O EL USO DE LOS PREMIOS SON RESPONSABILIDAD EXCLUSIVA DEL GANADOR. Todos los premios serán entregados. Si el premio es devuelto como imposible de entregar o de otra manera que no sea reclamado dentro de los diez (10) días después de la entrega de la notificación, el premio será descalificado y se otorgará a un ganador alternativo seleccionado por un segundo sorteo al azar entre todas las participaciones elegibles restantes. Todos los premios se entregan “tal cual” y sin garantía de ningún tipo, expresa o implícita (incluyendo, sin limitación, cualquier garantía de comerciabilidad o aptitud para un propósito en particular).

Liberación General

Al participar en el sorteo, esto  libera a Latino Outdoors y todas las Partes liberadas de toda responsabilidad y renuncia a cualquier y todas las causas de acción, por cualquier reclamo, costos, lesiones, pérdidas o

daños de cualquier tipo que surja de o en conexión con el concurso o la entrega, entrega equivocada, la aceptación, posesión o uso o imposibilidad de uso de cualquier premio (incluyendo, sin limitación, reclamos, costos, lesiones, pérdidas y daños relacionados con lesiones personales, muerte, daño o destrucción de propiedad, derechos de publicidad o privacidad, difamación o representación en una luz falsa, ya sea intencional o no intencional), ya sea bajo teoría de contrato, agravio (incluyendo negligencia), garantía o cualquier otra teoría.

El uso de del ganador nombre, imagen, etc.

Excepto donde esté prohibido por la ley, la entrada en el Sorteo constituye el permiso para usar el nombre del ganador, semejanza, personalidad, ciudad natal, y / o información del premio en todos los medios conocidos o posterior ideados por todo el universo a perpetuidad a todos los efectos Latino Outdoors estime apropiadas, incluyendo, sin limitación, con fines de promoción y publicidad, sin el permiso adicional o compensación. Como condición para recibir cualquier premio, excepto donde esté prohibido por la ley, el ganador puede ser requerido para ejecutar un consentimiento por escrito, confirmando Latino Outdoors derecho de uso de dicho ganador nombre, imagen, persona, ciudad natal, y / o información Premio sin el permiso adicional o compensación.

Lista de ganadores; Reglas petición. Para obtener una copia de la lista de ganador o normas oficiales envíe un sobre sellado, con su dirección, de tamaño comercial después del 6 de febrero a las 12:01 am MST y antes de febrero 19 a las 23:59 MST. a 607 S 10th Street Laramie Wyoming 82070.


El Concurso y estas Reglas oficiales se regirán e interpretarán conforme a las leyes del estado de California, USA. Participantes se comprometen a cumplir con estas Reglas Oficiales y las decisiones de Latino Outdoors, que son definitivas y vinculantes en todos los aspectos. Latino Outdoors se reserva el derecho de modificar estas Reglas Oficiales en cualquier momento, a su sola discreción, y de suspender o cancelar el concurso o la participación de cualquier participante en el Sorteo deben virus, bugs, intervención humana no autorizada u otras causas más allá del control de  Latino Outdoors afecta a la administración, la seguridad o la manera correcta del sorteo, o Latino Outdoors de lo contrario se convierte en (tal como se determina a su sola discreción) incapaz de ejecutar el sorteo como estaba previsto, en cuyo caso se otorgarán todos los premios a través de un sorteo al azar entre todas las inscripciones elegibles entradas recibidas antes de la cancelación. No obstante lo anterior, Latino Outdoors se reserva el derecho de enmendar, modificar o cancelar el sorteo en cualquier momento sin previo aviso. Los participantes que no cumplan estas Reglas Oficiales; violar cualquier ley, norma o reglamento en relación con la participación en el sorteo; alterar el funcionamiento del Sorteo; o participar en cualquier conducta que es perjudicial o injusta para Latino Outdoors el Sorteo, o cualquier otro participante (en cada caso, según se determina en Latino Outdoors sola discreción) están sujetos a la descalificación de entrada en el Sorteo. Cualquier disposición de estas Reglas Oficiales considera inaplicable se hará cumplir en la medida permitida, y el resto de estas Reglas Oficiales se mantendrá vigente. Si usted tiene alguna pregunta sobre estas Reglas Oficiales o en el Sorteo, envíe un correo electrónico a Alfonso@latinooutdoors.org

Sorteo Patrocinador: Latino Outdoors