In an effort to increase diversity in America’s national parks, the American Latino Heritage Fund of the National Park Foundation has announced a nation wide search for bloggers to take part in an exciting new adventure. Yesterday, the ALHF launched the @American_Latino Expedition, which will explore three parks this summer while simultaneously raising awareness of the contributions of American Latinos to each of those locations.
The @American_Latino Expedition project will focus on education, park stewardship, outdoor recreation and exploration inside Olympic and Mesa Verde national parks in Washington and Colorado respectively, as well as the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area located in Arizona and Utah. With that in mind, the ALHF is looking for groups of bloggers to visit each location and share their experiences with readers. That includes using outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to creatively engage their audiences as well. In exchange for their efforts, all expenses – including airfare, lodging and most on-site excursions – will be completely covered.
The deadline for applying to take part in this program is June 14, and the ALHF is quick to point out that you don’t have to be Latino to be selected. Any group with an active social media following, or even adventurous families, are encouraged to apply. To find out more about the project and to download the applications, click here.Engaging minorities in outdoor activities is a bit of a hot button topic at the moment. A disproportionately small number of visitors to the national parks are from minority groups and this project is hoping to change that to a degree. In fact, the ALHF says that there are now more than 54 million Latinos living in the U.S. and yet they make up just 9 percent of the visitors to the parks on an annual basis. The @American_Latino Expedition looks to increase that number accordingly.
It should be noted that the ALHF has partnered with both Aramark Parks and Destinations and outdoor gear retailer REI on this project. Aramark will handle lodging and other accommodations while traveling in these parks and the selected bloggers will also be fully outfitted for their adventure with some great equipment from REI.