27 Jul The Very First Latino Conservation Week at Zion National Park!
As part of my internship here at Zion, I helped plan the very first Latino Conservation Week event here!
We celebrated on Saturday, July 22nd, 2023. For our event, we had a guided hike in the morning and table activities in the afternoon. We had many social media posts highlighting our LHIP project, Latino Conservation Week, Spanish translations, culturally significant plants to Latinos, and more. On top of that, we had a JR Ranger activity page that could be done throughout the whole Latino Conservation Week. My ideas were largely inspired the Pride event that Zion hosted, which featured a guided hike, and the Juneteenth event at Grand Canyon, which had a special JR Ranger activity page as well.
Our Latino Conservation week was much anticipated. I spent almost a whole month working on it, the process gave me a lot of experience on event planning! I learned there is so much to consider when planning an event – we need to consider advertising, social media, accessibility, scheduling, safety, and much more. We also translated all our material in Spanish to reach the largest audience.
The event was very successful! We had a great turn out of supporters, my family drove all the way up from Tucson, Arizona! Many of our coworkers came by on their day off or breaks, and we even had a mother and son duo that we invited from a previous outreach event! Because we held our activities in our Nature Center, we got to interact with other visitors and rope them into the activities as well, many JR Rangers participated in our activities!
Our activities went very well, my LHIP partner, Carla Navarette, had the idea to have a Zion themed Loteria game. That was very fun to play with our families and coworkers. Zion’s Greening Youth interns, who are doing research on African-American and Black history in Utah, also held activities on tracing travel routes and writing postcards. They plan to collect postcards to add to a future museum exhibit on Black history! Their activity was based off the fact that Zion National Park is actually listed in the Green Book, which was a travel guide that listed safe places of business for black travelers during the Jim Crow Era.
Overall, Latino Conservation Week was very successful. We had a great time hosting this much anticipated event for us and it was very touching to see the amount of support that we received for our event. I’m honored to be apart of this history here and I am so glad that Zion is starting to make these moves towards inclusion. I am excited to see what they do in the future!