COLORADO, USA — Latino Outdoors Colorado is an organization that aims to change the narrative around what it means to be "outdoorsy."
"When we see like experts in the outdoors they don't like us," said Modesta McGrath-Martinez, who leads the group. "They aren't typically women, they aren't typically people of color."
The group gives members of the Latino community a chance to experience the great activities that Colorado has to offer, such as snowshoeing, hiking and fly fishing.
Earlier this month, the group drove to Staunton State Park to partner with Colorado Parks and Wildlife for a Fly-Fishing 101 course. Christian Mendez moved to Colorado from South Texas less than a year ago. He discovered Latino Outdoors Colorado while rock climbing and knew he had to get involved.
"I came out here with the hopes of doing more 'outdoorsy' and 'naturey' things, and so far with events like this, I am accomplishing that goal," Mendez said. "I feel more comfortable going out to Colorado and exploring with a group like this that I can have and be a part of."
Andrea Kurth felt the same way. It may have been her first time fly-fishing, but she had been a longtime Latino Outdoors participant and knew how much this meant to a lot of people in the group.
"A lot of times, the Latino community can face barriers when they're trying to access the outdoors," Kurth said. "I think for a lot of people, information is a huge barrier."
For McGrath-Martinez, running Latino Outdoors Colorado is more than just getting people in the wild. It's about community and proving nature doesn't have to be prejudice.
"We just have a skewed version of what it means to be outdoorsy, and so that’s kind of a big part of Latino Outdoors, and there’s plenty of organizations that are working, groups that are working to kind of change that," McGrath-Martinez explained.
"I'm getting emotional talking about it because it's a really special thing and unique. It's just such a great feeling to give back to the community, to see the joy, because I know they're going to remember this."
Latino Outdoors Colorado doesn't have any events coming up, but they encourage people to follow their social media pages to find out once they do have something planned.
Latino Outdoors Colorado
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