Washington, D.C. (April 5, 2013) – The American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) of the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of the America’s national parks, applauds the National Park Service’s (NPS) release of “American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study.” Supported by ALHF, in its role within NPS’s American Latino Heritage Initiative, the theme study marks a concerted effort by the National Park Service to tell a more inclusive story of American Latinos’ historic contributions to the U.S. This effort strives to better document important places, buildings and landscapes where historic events unfolded with the intent to bring these sites into the National Historic Landmarks Program.
“We celebrate and applaud the National Park Service and its American Latino Scholars Panel in issuing this initial report – which will refresh a national dialogue on the importance of preserving the rich and diverse histories embodied within our parks,” said Midy Aponte, executive director of the American Latino Heritage Fund. “The American Latino Heritage Fund of the National Park Foundation is committed to telling the diverse and multicultural story of America. And this report is essential in helping to identify and protect places that have made an indelible mark in our nation’s history.”
The theme study is organized under four major sub-headings: Making the Nation, Making a Life, Making a Living and Making a Democracy. Chapters include:
- The Latino Crucible: Its Origins in 19th-Century Wars, Revolutions, and Empire
- Historic Overview of Latino Immigration and Demographic Transformation of the United States
- Coming Home to Salsa: Latino Roots of American Food
- Endurance and Transformation: Horizons of Latino Faith
- American Science, American Medicine, and American Latinos
- Demanding Equal Political Voice...And Accepting Nothing Less: The Quest for Latino Political Inclusion
This groundbreaking publication is especially timely as an enhanced focus is made to accurately document an inclusive story of American history across the national park system. Upon a review by the National Historic Landmarks Committee to analyze the composition of more than 2,500 National Historic Landmarks, the committee found that less than eight percent (8%) of designated landmarks specifically represented the stories of Native Americans, African Americans, American Latinos, Asian Americans, women, and other under-represented groups. ALHF is committed to supporting the National Park Service in redressing this imbalance by funding the nominations of building, sites, landscapes and places that meet NHL criteria.
Since 2011, ALHF has provided more than $180,000 to support the nominations of historic places – including the César E. Chávez National Monument in California and the Casa Dra. Concha Meléndez Ramírez site in Puerto Rico. ALHF has pledged to continue funding nominations of additional sites into the system and is actively fundraising to meet its goal.
To download a copy of “American Latinos and the Making of the United States”, please visit the National Park Service’s American Latino Heritage Initiative website. To learn more about the work of the American Latino Heritage Fund and how to support these important efforts, visit www.ALHF.org or www.facebook.com/AmericanLatinoHeritageFund.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN LATINO HERITAGE FUND
The American Latino Heritage Fund of the National Park Foundation will assist the National Park Service and communities across the country to ensure that our national parks and historic sites preserve, reflect and engage the diverse stories and communities of American Latinos for future generations. For more information, please visit www.ALHF.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, raises private funds that directly aid, support and enrich America’s national parks and their programs. Chartered by Congress as the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation plays a critical role in conservation and preservation efforts, establishing national parks as powerful learning environments, and giving all audiences an equal and abundant opportunity to experience, enjoy and support America’s treasured places. Learn more at www.nationalparks.org.