This year marks the third annual Latino Conservation Week, an initiative of the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) to harness the Latino community’s passion for the outdoors and spotlight its role in conservation. Latino Conservation Week started with 17 partners and 17 events but quickly grew to over 100 partners engaging communities throughout the nation.

The Native American Land Conservancy (NALC) was proud to support Latino Conservation week by participating in an Intercultural Roundtable with the Council of Mexican Federations in North America (COFEM). The mission of COFEM is to empower immigrant communities to be full participants in the social, political, economic, and cultural life of the United States and their home country. COFEM’s accomplishes this mission by uniting, strengthening, and expanding its member organizations to better advocate, preserve, and share their cultural traditions and help improve the lives of families and friends in their country of origin. The organization was founded more than 30 years ago and includes 15 organizations. COFEM was an active supporter in the effort to establish the Desert National Monuments including the Mojave Trails and Sand to Snow National Monuments.

Tribal representatives from surrounding area of the Coachella Valley, the NALC and members of COFEM spent the evening exchanging stories on their connection to the desert landscapes and exchanging strategies to increase the diversity of voices participating in California conservation work. Individual participants addressed the meaning of conservation and the role of family and community. The group highlighted the ways multiculturalism benefits conservation efforts and how our organizations could continue working together to promote awareness, restoration, and preservation.

NALC and COFEM will partner on educational programs to create sustainable collaboration including outdoor cross-cultural education trips and hikes in the newly established Mojave Trails and Sand to Snow National Monuments.

Participation in the Roundtable was made possible by the Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF), an organization founded to protect, restore, and expand the National Conservation Lands through education, advocacy, and partnerships.

by the Native American Land Conservancy

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