Top Outdoor Places to Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

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To many Latino visitors, a deep appreciation and constant admiration towards nature is inherently passed down from every generation. Latino immigrants have historically dignified our country’s land and the great outdoors through various conservation and labor efforts.

Today, as Latinos continue to seek outdoor recreation activities, we wanted to share a few locations for your next day trip to celebrate Latino’s contributions to these distinct public lands.

Take a day trip to one of these unique locations honoring the people and places of Hispanic heritage

Coronado National Memorial

Arizona

View of the Sandia Mountains.

Coronado National Memorial (Abdullah Shah, Share the Experience)

The Coronado National Memorial is significant since it preserves the natural history of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado's expedition to areas of what is now the southwestern part of the United States. The memorial’s exhibition collection has a bilingual information (Spanish/English). And, it also has two sister parks in Mexico! The area also features access to several trails for hiking.

Cabrillo National Monument

California

Sunset waves at the park.

Cabrillo National Monument (Scott Murphy, Share the Experience)

Cabrillo National Monument features a sixteenth century exploration exhibit, lighthouses, and much more. The site features magnificent views of the California coast with two unique trails, Bayside and Coastal. There's also the opportunity for whale watching which peaks in December-March during the whale’s southern migration. The site is named after Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s sixteenth century exploration of what today is the San Diego Bay in California.

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Colorado

Sand dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve (Sean Peck, Share the Experience)

The Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve includes trails and picnic areas, the Piñon Flats Campground, and night access to the backcountry.  Within close range to the dunes, the Trujillo Homesteads are located within the Zapata Ranch. This National Historical Landmark acknowledges the important contributions of the family’s two ranches in Colorado. They also embody a physical representation of an era where many Latinos obtained Homesteads after the annexation of Mexico’s northern territories. Watch this video research project for more fun facts.

Biscayne National Park

Florida

Kayaking in the park.

Biscayne National Park (Henry Peraza, Share the Experience)

Biscayne National Park features distinct areas, such as, the Boca Chita and Elliot Key campgrounds, as well as various places for canoeing and kayaking. The park has a Maritime Heritage Trail, where one can explore the many remains of several shipwrecks in the area. This area is  best suited for scuba divers, though many other sites can be enjoyed while snorkeling. One of the shipwrecks, the British boat Lugano, was carrying passengers and goods back to Cuba from Florida, and although the ship was wrecked most passengers survived and lived to tell the story.

Chamizal National Memorial

Texas

Chamizal National Memorial sign

Chamizal National Memorial (nationalparks.org)

Chamizal National Memorial features a large open space for recreational day time use, such as running, biking, or having a picnic with family or close friends. The site also holds a cultural significance, as it recognizes the historical border land dispute between Mexico and the U.S. which drew an official boundary after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Texas

El Capitan Peak

Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Eli Vasquez, Share the Experience)

The Guadalupe Mountains National Park, includes the Pine Springs Campground and certain trails for day use, including those for backpacking. Close to the site are the Salt Flats, an exposed lakebed from an ancient dried up lake. In the past, groups clashed and fought for ownership during The El Paso Salt War. It began when American businessmen decided to gain ownership of the salt flats. Seeing this as a threat to their livelihood, the local Mexican American community fought back. They would not allow businessmen to obtain what had always been a free commodity used by communities for generations. Today, thanks to the bravery of that entire community, we are all able to enjoy such a magnificent sight of the Salt Basin Dunes.

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