Latino Outdoors Visits The WCC For Special Event
On Sunday, January 29el the Wolf Conservation Center hosted a lobos de america del norte program with the Connecticut chapter of Latino Outdoors. Latino Outdoors is a Latinx-led organization, that focuses on expanding and amplifying the Latinx experience in the outdoors through outdoor recreation, conservation, and environmental education. Latino Outdoors programs ensure that Latinx communities are valued and represented in the outdoor narrative.
The program was taught by WCC Program Educator, Sean Seary. Seary has also been integral in the WCC’s attempts to expand our DEI efforts to reach new communities who perhaps haven’t had traditional economic, physical, or social access to environmental education programs. As a Latino, Sean was particularly excited to host an organization specifically dedicated to raising Latinx voices in the greater conversation around environmentalism, conservation, and the outdoors.
Sean also explained the stakes of widening the net of diversity in outdoor spaces in an op-ed on Latino Outdoors’ website back in November 2022, “As a mixed-race Latino of Puerto Rican descent, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized how truly underrepresented our people are in the greater conversation about conservationism and environmentalism.
After spending many years bouncing around environmental careers; from education to policy, outdoor recreation, and back into education, I was finally able to make my dream a reality. I started working at the Wolf Conservation Center in early 2022, and just like that my childhood dream to work with animals had come true! It took a lot of time, energy, and effort to make it this far, but perseverance and sense of purpose goes a long way.”
Through LO’s Vamos Outdoors (Let’s Go Outdoors) program, the WCC was able to connect with Johanna Rincón (LO Connecticut Program Coordinator) to set up this special visit. Johanna recruited 30 folks to visit the WCC on a not-so chilly day at the end of January. Not only was this Latino Outdoors’ first visit to the WCC, but this was also their first visit to a program specifically dedicated to animal/wildlife conservation! Visitors were greeted by WCC Ambassador wolves Nikai and Alawa, who were happy not just to meet new folks but also get some delicious program snacks, and LO Connecticut also got the chance to see our critically endangered Red wolves and Mexican gray wolves
Participants asked a lot of thoughtful and engaging questions about wolves, conservation efforts, and how to advocate for wolves further after visiting the WCC.
We’re looking forward to working with Latino Outdoors Connecticut again, and we hope some of the other LO regional chapters get to visit as well!