LatinaLista — A popular perception of Latinos is that all are urban dwellers. Most believe that highway mixmasters are the closest stone canyons that many Latinos will see, and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Yet, in Colorado and New Mexico, two states not only known for their natural beauty and endless outdoor activities, and where Latinos comprise a fair share of the population (Colorado – 21%; New Mexico – 47%), Latinos’ tie to the land is understood to be a part of a special legacy.
It’s no wonder that a new poll by HECHO – Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting and Outdoors — shows just how seriously Latinos feel about conserving the environment.
In the poll, conducted by Latino Decisions, 93 percent of those surveyed believe the government should protect public lands and over 90 percent in both Colorado and New Mexico believe the government needs to consult with the Latino community “to help identify historic lands important to our heritage before leasing public lands for oil and gas drilling.”
In addition to the poll, HECHO released a video news release featuring HECHO Director Rod Torrez and Deputy Director Max Trujillo explaining the poll and the perspectives of Latinos for whom the “Great Outdoors” is more than just Nature’s playground.
In the video, Trujillo highlights how Latinos are drivers of the recreation economy, and how protection of public lands such as the designation of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument has resulted in an increase in revenue and visitation not only in Taos, NM, where the land is located, but also in the surrounding communities.
“It’s a perfect example of how conservation works in the southwest,” Trujillo explains. “We are the original conservationists in the Southwest and we feel very strongly that we can cooperate with our government and the decision-makers in our country to make this a better situation for everybody,” concluded Max Trujillo, HECHO’s Deputy Director.