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.