A nonprofit land trust is offering guided hikes in Spanish to help improve Latinx representation on the trails throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hendersonville-based Conserving Carolina launched its bilingual walk series in June and is planning to host two more treks before the end of summer.
Communications and outreach intern Alexla Perez-Sanchez helped plan and launch the initiative. Perez-Sanchez immigrated to the US with her parents as a child. She says although public parks and trails are open to everyone to enjoy, people of color often don’t feel welcome. For those who don’t speak English, it can feel even more exclusive, she adds.
“Most of my life I wanted to go hiking or camping, but my mother didn’t know or when she tried to figure it out, none of the signage was in English, so essentially this whole world of hiking, camping, nature, outdoors was completely shut off from me,” Perez-Sanchez said. “I see that on these hikes now.”
Perez-Sanchez says her mom has even joined her on the bilingual hikes and practiced her English. The final two bilingual hikes are planned to take place at the Brevard Greenway in the Pisgah National Forest on Aug. 14 and on the Vaughn Creek Greenway in Polk County on Sept. 11.
More information and registration can be found here.