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Reports reveal the Latino community seems to be lacking in recreational time compared to other groups

Posted at 5:54 PM, Jul 24, 2023

NAMPA, Idaho — How often do you step out of your home and enjoy the outdoors? Well, research shows that people of color are far less likely to engage in nature-based outdoor recreation activities. While being outdoors and being in nature is common for many Idahoans, the Latino community seems to be lacking in recreational time more than other groups.

"It is important to also enjoy the beautiful state, and the great things it has to offer," said Diana Hernandez, a Nampa resident.

A report released by the CDCstates 32% of Latinos are physically inactive outside of work, putting them in danger of health issues from obesity to cancer.

During last week's Latino conservation week, The Nature Conservancy hosted local events to encourage Latinos to get outdoors more often and that message appears to be working since turnout was four times more on opening day compared to previous years.

"I do not want to be another statistic, So I choose to be in better health for my kids and myself,” said Hernandez.

Diana Hernandez is one of many benefiting from the events hosted by local organizations encouraging visiting the outdoors telling us she is now working to stay active due to a health condition.

"I was a pre-diabetic, I was one of the statistics," said Hernandez.

Latinos are among the highest percentage of inactive racial and ethnic groups and have more than a 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes at a younger age.

As to why that gap exists between Latinos and other ethnicities— we are told transportation, time, money and language all play a role.

"Deer Flat National Refuge is translating all of our material in both English and Spanish," said Devyn Hallamore, a Community Conservation Ambassador With Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge.

Their overall goal is to continue getting Latinos in a place where they feel comfortable outdoors and ultimately inspire them to protect natural resources as they learn to enjoy the outdoor spaces.

"So I choose to be in better health for my kids and myself,” said Hernandez.

Moving forward those groups who took part in last week's events will continue the lessons and messaging in order to continue encouraging Latinos to get outdoors recreationally.

The Nature Conservancy is already planning for the following year since they expect more Latinos to participate.