Who: As its name implies, Latino Outdoors is a Latino-led organization with a mission to connect our community with nature and outdoor experiences. Although Latinos are the fastest growing demographic in the United States, we are still largely underrepresented in terms of communities who engage with conservation and recreation in our national parks. According to the U.S. Forest Service, which manages national forests and wilderness areas, 95% of visitors between the years of 2008-2012 were white. It’s even become something of a cliché joke that camping and being outdoorsy is “stuff white people like.” Founded by educator José González, LO is working to get more Latinos engaged and inspired by the outdoors – and his work reverberates well beyond the organization’s home base of California – a state where it’s pretty easy to be in awe of nature.

Why You Should Follow: A recent study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that strolling through nature for just an hour and a half can lead to a reduction in negative thoughts, as well as improvements in short term memory, stress relief, and many more benefits to your physical and mental well-being. This account will inspire you to get out there and bask in nature’s majesty – and if you can’t hit the trail right away, then we’re hoping at least scrolling through the photos will bring us some of those peaceful nature vibes we need.

Sample Photos:

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Honestly, rockclimbing is one of the hardest things I've ever chosen to do. I don't remember why I decided to do it, but I remember how hard it was to even see it as "fun". For many months I would cry like a baby, I'd scream and throw temper tantrums, I'd be so stressed out and completely out of my comfort zone, cut up and peppered with bruises. Unable to center myself, progress felt non-existant. I had little patience for myself. People hated climbing with me, I was not a fun climbing partner. But there was something there, in the tiny bursts of courage that I'd manage to squeeze out, even when I thought I was all out of juice. I'd always feel good after completing something really difficult, all the terrible feelings and screaming that happened during the climb would seem so silly once it was over. Eventually, things stop being so scary, and difficult tasks were fun challenges to overcome. You find newer, scarier, and more difficult things and your whole personality changes. Slowly, but you notice over time. This is me after my first ever crack climb outside. I was very patient with myself, I worked very hard. I am proud of my progress, not just in my climbing ability but also in the changes I've seen in my personality. I still have those frustrating moments, I feel the same fears and frustrations as when I first started climbing, this is good. It means I'm still pushing myself even now after all these months. I'll admit, I'm not that great at climbing in general, but I'm super stoked to continue growing a stronger mind and body! Photo: @wildwayfarer_ Sorry (not sorry) for the long post x) LO ambassador @elmiche100 #flagstaff #climbing #rockclimbing #climbergirl #paradiseforks #az #mentalgame #progress #patience #nature #outdoors #getoutstayout #stoked #crackclimbing #latinooutdoors

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