What: Latino Outdoors is a unique Latino-led organization working to create a national community of leaders in conservation and outdoor education.
Why it matters: While strides have been made, organizations like Latino Outdoors are needed as strong advocates for the community and as providers of opportunities that have led to significant brand and event partnerships.
There is so much written about important issues with Latinos in the United States these days: access to education programs and the arts, potential language issues, even the dearth of Latinos in the just completed Winter Olympics for Team USA. That’s to say nothing of the ongoing debate around immigration going on in Washington.
Still, for all the problems, a growing number of Latinos are finding ways to break the mold, engage and grow all aspects of business, especially around sports and lifestyle.
Latino Outdoors brings cultura into the outdoor narrative and connects Latino communities and conservation leadership with nature and outdoor experiences. Conceived in 2013 by José G. González in an effort to find a like-minded community to create a place for his passion: nature, the outdoors, and the Latino community, the organization works to: open doors, open hearts, open skies, open space and most importantly, open minds.
Latino Outdoors represents opportunities for outdoor-oriented companies … to better engage with a younger Latino audience.
The non-profit has grown from a California-based organization to an international volunteer movement and is wholly focused on its comprehensive strategic plan to connect people interested in enjoying and preserving the environment and working to create a national community of leaders in conservation and outdoor education with the focus being the growing active Latino population.
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The key part of Latino Outdoors’ efforts are focused on expanding and amplifying the Latino experience in the outdoors—providing greater opportunities for leadership, mentorship, and professional opportunities and serving as a platform for sharing cultural connections and narratives often overlooked by the traditional outdoor movement, a business that is in the billions. By leading family campouts, hikes, climbing outings, and cleanups, the group is helping to create a safe and inclusive space for people to get outside and get active.
González encourages athletes of all ages and backgrounds to think about adding nature to their athletic pursuits: hiking, climbing, and mountain biking. A passionate public educator and environmentalist, he had become frustrated that he couldn’t find a central hub for like-minded nature enthusiasts. He bought the domain for what would become Latino Outdoors and wrote his first blog post and the platform has grown exponentially since then.
From a brand perspective, Latino Outdoors represents opportunities for outdoor-oriented companies like Patagonia (@patagonia) and activities like Tough Mudder (@ToughMudder ) to better engage with a younger Latino audience that may be very urban but also not think outdoors-first for activity.
The disposable income for Latinos is rising, and as an upwardly mobile demo that is more socially conscious than ever before and has every reason to engage in issues about the environment as well as exploring and enjoying the beauty of America, Latino Outdoors is a platform coming to light at the right time.
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