New Week. New You: Get outside with Latino Outdoors

Local chapter promotes outdoor exploration among Hispanic community

SAN ANTONIO – Latino Outdoors is national organization with 90 chapters. San Antonio is home to the organization's most active chapter in Texas spearheaded, by Josie Gutierrez.

She worked with Recreational Equipment Incorporated to build the local chapter in 2013. Gutierrez didn't develop a love for nature until she was an adult. She was 20 years old when she visited Garner State Park for the first time. Before then, she says "afuera" meant playing in the neighborhood or just getting out of her parents' hair.

When Gutierrez had daughters of her own she made it a point to show them the wonders of the outdoors. Now she's instilling that same passion in her granddaughter and other Latinos looking to explore.

Latino Outdoors meets at least once a month for outdoor activities, like group hikes, kayaking and camping. They work with REI for classes like pitching a tent, packing for a backpacking trip or learning to repair bikes. All of these activities are free or low cost. Of course everyone is welcome -- the group simply started as a way to change the narrative around Latino culture and lack of exposure.

"We're not the group that you find out in the outdoors. At least we weren't growing up and it wasn't anything that we saw ourselves in pictures and magazines," Gutierrez said.

Visit their Facebook page for details on their next adventure.

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