During Hispanic Heritage Month, or any time, you can discover the rich and historic connection between national parks throughout the USA and Hispanic/Latinx heritage.
And there’s always the opportunity to take a hike, watch wildlife, enjoy a picture perfect sunset, learn about the intersection of national parks, conservation and recreation with Park Rangers.
Here are a dozen ways to explore more than 500 years of Hispanic and Latinx history and heritage can be found in national parks or shared through NPS programs and partners in communities across the country.
Discover these remarkable, complex, and at times, painful stories preserved in our national parks and historic places – including the strong Native American heritage.
- Where Mexican homesteaders and ranch owners built a strong cultural heritage still seen today.
- Experience the famous beaches of Malibu or explore more than 500 miles of trails. The park abounds with historical and cultural sites, from old movie ranches to Native American centers.
- Explore the Backbone Trail, which extends 67 miles across the mountains.
- where Spanish missionaries, settlers and soldiers intersected with – and sometimes fought with – Native American tribes.
- Tumacácori sits at a cultural crossroads in the Santa Cruz River valley. Here O’odham, Yaqui, and Apache people met and mingled with European Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries, settlers, and soldiers, sometimes in conflict and sometimes in cooperation.
- Follow the timeworn paths and discover stories that connect us to enduring relationships, vibrant cultures, and traditions of long ago, including searching original mission records.
- El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail through New Mexico is recognized as an important trade route between the United States and Mexico, which also set the stage for cultural exchange.
- Learn from a complicated legacy of 300 years of conflict, cooperation, and cultural exchange between a variety of empires—European and non-European alike.
- Encapsulates the story of early Spanish and Mexican settlement across the present-day American Southwest and the socio-political shifts that occurred when the territory was annexed by the United States.
- The preserve is known for its huge mountain meadows, abundant wildlife, and meandering streams. The area also preserves the homeland of ancestral native peoples and embraces a rich ranching history.
- It also sits on an extinct volcano – that’s the caldera part of the name.
- Has a large and vibrant Latinx community including immigrants from Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and other Latin American countries who came to work in the area’s factories in the 1970s. This is where the Industrial Revolution began
- Water from the river has fueled industry and employment opportunities for more than 200 years and ethnic influences from around the globe are reflected in the area’s natural and cultural attractions.
- Follow the 46 miles of the Blackstone River as it drops 450 feet to sea level. Explore the varied habitats of its watershed, the charming towns and villages in the region, and their distinctive culture created by influences from around the globe.
features several monuments that commemorate the contributions of Latino leaders who brought freedom and change throughout the Americas and played important roles in the history of the United States. In the heart of the nation’s capital, Washington, DC.
National Mall and Memorial Parks includes more than a dozen units of the National Park System & more than 100 unique monuments & memorials.
- This park in San Diego, California, was the site of a powerful protest in 1970. The park is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Photograph courtesy of the California State Historic Preservation Office via NPS
Learn about the father of wildlife management in the NPS, George Melendez Wright.
Wright spent a lot of time in national parks, keeping detailed notes and observations about wildlife and other natural resources.
In 1927, Wright became assistant park naturalist in Yosemite National Park including teaching field classes and helping develop the Yosemite Museum and noticing mismanagement of wildlife, including visitors feeting bear for entertainment.
Wrightorganized, and even initially funded, the first NPS wildlife surveys, leading to the establishment of the Wild Life Division in 1933. Thousands of images from those surveys and others from the NPS Wildlife Division Photo File are now available online. His legacy lives today through the hard work, dedication, and passion of natural resource managers and scientists.
In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him to head the National Resources Board. He spent the next two years traveling to areas and researching areas where new national parks could be established, such as Everglades National Park.
More ways to enjoy a national park or historic site
Find a park and go for a walk, hike, picnic, scenic drive, camping trip, or get involved in stewardship and conservation efforts in parks.
Whatever you do, be safe and Plan Like A Park Ranger!
Find planning tips and tools on our website or in the NPS app to make sure your only surprises are happy ones.
Volunteer. Throughout the nation, Hispanic/Latinx NPS employees, volunteers and interns are working diligently to help preserve and protect our natural, cultural and recreational resources. Find out how to join the team
More Hispanic Heritage Month events
Explore los programas de jóvenes guardabosques en Español (Explore Junior Ranger activity books in Spanish). Kids can become jóvenes arqueólogos (Junior Archeologists) and exploradores subacuáticos (Junior Ranger Underwater Explorers).
Several parks offer Spanish-language resources: El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park,Everglades National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Meet some NPS of Hispanic/Latinx employees. Some are superintendents, park biologists, historians, architects, park rangers. Learn about the variety of career paths and experiences from NPS employees of Hispanic or Latinx backgrounds and get inspired to work with us!
Tap into thePower of Parks for Health. With at least one national park in every state, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors of all backgrounds to find a nearby national park and experience the health benefits of spending time outdoors this Hispanic Heritage Month.
Share your own experiences and get inspired.Use #HispanicHeritageMonth #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque on social media to tell us why and how you are celebrating your Hispanic/Latinx heritage this month.
Visit historic places near you.Just about every county in the country has at least one site in the National Register of Historic Places. Many listings recognize the contributions of Hispanic/Latinx people, culture and notable achievements: Freedom Tower in Miami, Casa Amadeo in New York, Guadalupe Center in Missouri, Women’s Building in California, Bullion Plaza School in Arizona.