Welcome to the inaugural edition of the American Latino Heritage Fund's newsletter! We are excited to reflect on all we have accomplished in one short year and share new challenges and opportunities on the horizon. This newsletter also gives us the opportunity to convey our extreme appreciation to our donors. Through your generous support we will excel at our important mission to tell a more inclusive story of the American experience by preserving the contributions of American Latinos throughout history.

In June of 2011, the Honorable Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior and Chairman of the National Park Foundation (NPF) Board of Directors, announced the creation of the American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) as part of the Foundation's initiative to promote and protect America's diverse history and culture throughout the national park system. As an integral part of the National Park Foundation, the Fund now serves as a vehicle to build support and to help strategically integrate and celebrate the cultural, economic, and civic contributions of Latinos in the American story as told through our national historic landmarks, monuments, parks, and sites across the country.

There have been numerous developments with ALHF since we started this journey a year ago. From hosting public awareness events throughout the country, to supporting youth education summits, partnering on a coast-to-coast social media campaign that brings Latino Heritage to the national forefront, and, most recently, funding the nomination and creation of historic landmarks commemorating Latino history. In just over a year, the American Latino Heritage Fund has set a strong foundation from which it will build upon for years to come.

Thank you for undertaking this journey with us. Your support of the American Latino Heritage Fund and its mission makes you an active partner in our critical efforts to celebrate Latino history and heritage. Together, we will ignite a national movement to catalyze a new national narrative, revealing a more inclusive American story today and for all perpetuity.


Midy Aponte
Executive Director
American Latino Heritage Fund


Establishing a Future
for ALHF
Bringing the Parks
to the People
Washington State
Youth Summit

Establishing a Future for ALHF

With the support of the Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, who also serves as the Chairman of the Board for the National Park Foundation, the American Latino Heritage Fund developed an aggressive strategy to create a solid foundation during its first year in operation. To meet this objective, ALHF held numerous events throughout the country to generate awareness of the Fund's mission and discuss its impact moving forward.


November - Secretary Salazar introduced ALHF to 18 of Miami's most prominent cultural influencers and business leaders at a dinner hosted by Emilio Estefan at his famed restaurant Larios on the Beach.

January - Prominent community leaders Moctesuma Esparaza of Mayan Entertainment, Art Gastellum of Gateway Science and Engineering and Norma Vega of Ibarra Strategies Group hosted a reception in Los Angeles. The evening concluded with an intimate dinner attended by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Rudy Beserra of Coca Cola, Silvia Aldana of PG&E and Dr. Mario Molina of Molina Healthcare.


May - ALHF hosted a dinner in Denver while concluding the month with a spectacular event hosted by NPF board member, Henry Munoz, in San Antonio. The Secretary, as well as a group of prominent community leaders including Mayor Julian Castro and George Cortez, owner of the San Antonio institution, Mi Tierra Restaurant, participated in a walking tour of historic places throughout San Antonio's downtown cultural district.

The Secretary, the National Park Foundation and the American Latino Heritage Fund greatly appreciate the support of our founding partners who were a critical component of the Fund's first initial year.

Bringing the Parks to the People

A central mission of ALHF is to increase Latino interest in and visitation at national parks. To this end, ALHF is working to identify innovative ways to engage the Latino community in outdoor recreation opportunities that support the cultures and lifestyles of today’s diverse America. NCLR’s Annual Conference also provided critical insight in this effort. ALHF’s booth at the NCLR’s National Latino Family Expo had Latino and bilingual park rangers providing park information to expo visitors. A green screen of Arches National Park allowed individuals, families and friends to “Picture Themselves in a Park” while posing with a park ranger. More than 1,500 photo give-a-ways were distributed over the weekend as ALHF enjoyed a heavy stream of visitors to its booth!

Washington State Youth Summit

ALHF provided a $25,000 grant to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation to implement a statewide youth summit that immersed youth and teachers in an interactive educational program in Yakima Valley and Mount Rainer National Park. This educational program took place from July 10-13 and was both an enriching and enlightening experience for the students and their educators. The summit explored Washington's rich Hispanic and Latino heritage and discussed methods for increasing visitation of underserved populations in our national parks.


ALHF Presents at National Council of La Raza's Annual Conference
in Las Vegas

Midy Aponte, executive director of ALHF, led a panel discussion featuring Dolores Huerta, President and Founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Dr. Stephen Pitti, Professor of History & American Studies, Director of the Program in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Yale University, Maria Agui Carter, President, Iguana Films, Chairman of the Board, National Association of Latino Independent Producers and Marta Cruz Kelly, Program Manager (Division Chief), Interpretation and Education Division, National Park Service.  The panel discussion titled, “Cultivating Civic Engagement by Honoring Latino Contributions to America” emphasized how the Latino community must take ownership of their history and use this understanding to further civic participation in regions throughout the country.

American Latino Heritage Road Trip

In July of 2012, ALHF partnered with the social media network Hispanicize on a coast-to-coast road trip where prominent Latino bloggers chronicled their adventures at historic sites, honoring Latino contributions to the U.S. Via five regional road trips spanning thousands of miles in the northeast, southeast, west, southwest and mid-atlantic, the ‘American Latino Heritage Road Trip,’ documented the travels of Latino visitors uncovering American history. Audiences followed the road trip on ALHF’s Facebook page, through Twitter using the hashtag #LatinoHeritage, and by visiting partnering sites and

American Latino Theme Study

The American Latino Heritage Fund, the National Park Service and Department of Interior willsoon release the American Latino Theme Study, a comprehensive study seeking to elevate the national dialogue about the role of American Latinos in the development of the nation.

The theme study developed implemented by the National Park Service and led by the American Latino Scholars Expert Panel, which was established under the auspices of the National Park System Advisory Board. The study presents a current review of American Latino's influence in empires, wars, revolutions; intellectual thought; displacement, migration & immigration, media, religion & spirituality, arts, sports & leisure, food, labor, business & commerce, military, and history of science and medicine. 

The study will assist government agencies and the private sector with identifying and evaluating Latino-related places for historical significance in communities nationwide and the potential nomination of these places to the National Register of Historic Places and for National Historic Landmark designation. It will also serve as a model for additional theme studies that address other ethnic groups in the United States. 

For information on upcoming events, please visit




National Park Foundation

National Park Service


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