Defiende Reaches New Heights

For the past two winters, Defiende Nuestra Tierra has successfully organized several snowshoe outings that were well attended by the local community. Defiende members continue to ask when the next snowshoe outing will be, when the summer hikes start (July 19) and what our next adventure will look like.

When Wilderness Workshop started Defiende, we hosted three community listening sessions to better understand how to authentically engage with our local Latinx community. We heard many voices, and earnestly started to think of ways we could break down some of the barriers our community shared with us. We found out that winter, snow, extreme cold and the potential to get lost were major concerns, and we quickly started planning events to engage our Latino community in ways to connect on public lands during the winter, based on what we heard. Snowshoeing seemed like the easiest way to start. It’s a great social activity, and all ages and ability levels can enjoy the sport together. It’s inexpensive; snowshoeing is affordably priced and no special gear is absolutely needed. It’s also easy; no complex technical and physical skills are required, like in other sports such as skiing.

These events have surpassed our expectations to connect Latinos to public lands during the winter. We are connecting community. We have seen interest and participation from our broader WW member base, and this truly warms our hearts to see the WW community regardless of language, culture and background come together to experience and celebrate our love for public lands year-round. Please join us for a Defiende hike this summer and we’ll look forward to seeing you in the snow again this winter.

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