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The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced that its American Latino Heritage Fund will pursue a comprehensive set of initiatives critical to raising the profile of American Latino heritage and increasing Latinos’ attendance at national parks and participation in preserving historic places nationwide.
Formed in 2011, the American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) is dedicated to strategically integrating and celebrating the cultural, economic, and civic contributions of Latinos in the American story as told throughout the national park system and in historic places across the country.
“American Latinos have played a pivotal role in shaping this country,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “We are proud to lead the charge in creating a movement to protect and preserve this rich culture and reaffirm our commitment to fully represent the nation’s diverse cultural groups and their role in our national park system.”
The new initiatives include:
Led by the National Park Service and a team of Latino scholars, the theme study will serve as a national model for future reports examining ethnic groups’ participation in American history. It will also play a vital role in identifying and evaluating locations relevant to Latino contributions, and of historical significance, for the National Register of Historic Places and for National Historic Landmark designation.
The National Park Foundation’s ALHF will seek to assist the National Park Service in its efforts to identify, document, nominate, and preserve historic places highlighting Latino contributions. In an effort to involve the Latino community in the process, members of the public are also encouraged to participate in this effort by visiting the National Park Service’s designated website for related American Latino Heritage projects.
The summit is designed to educate and involve younger generations in historic preservation in their communities, and will equip teachers and preservation organizations with the tools needed to motivate and engage Latino youth on stewardship of historic places and national parks.
“The Foundation’s American Latino Heritage Fund is proud to play a vital role in the successful implementation of programs of such national and wide-ranging significance,” said Midy Aponte, interim executive director of ALHF. “We must reflect the true diversity of the American experience and preserve the full story of our country’s natural, cultural and historical treasures.”