Celebrating Hispanic Heritage in Our National Parks

By: 
Midy Aponte, Executive Director of the American Latino Heritage Fund

While I encourage everyone to celebrate the diversity of our country every single day, I am excited to join the collective efforts of people across the United States in highlighting the rich culture, contributions and traditions of American Latinos by honoring National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15.

The truth is that generations of American Latinos have impacted, shaped and enriched our nation, and many of their historic contributions are preserved, recognized and shared in our national parks. And lucky for us, our national parks make it easy for us to engage with, experience and celebrate the contributions of these historic American Latinos through the many activities each park offers throughout the year.

Below are five great suggestions for ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage in our national parks.  For more information about events happening in America's national parks, I suggest you check out the National Park Service's calendar.

Watch the American and Mexican flags fly together at the Chamizal National Memorial in Texas and recall the historic treaty that ended a century-long dispute between the two nations.

Take a guided walk to the Cuban American Friendship Urn on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and find out why it was made and what it symbolizes.

Experience labor activist César E. Chávez’s commitment and dedication to improve working and living conditions and wages for farm workers at the César E. Chávez National Monument in California.

Explore Dry Tortugas National Park and learn how Spanish explorer Ponce de León discovered this cluster of seven coral reef islands off the coast of Florida.

Catch up on the exciting 2013 @American_Latino Expedition adventures to Mesa Verde National Park , Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Olympic National Park.

I invite you to share our American Latino Heritage Fund of the National Park Foundation with your friends, family and colleagues this month and throughout the year. We’d love to have you join us on our journey of sharing and telling a more inclusive American story!