This Little Thing Called "Trail Magic"

I remember the stories of an old friend who’d take weeklong hikes along the Appalachian Trail. He’d comment on the greetings of fellow hikers as they walked by, cheering you on with a head nod, or a “Great day!” As if somehow they understood and respected the quiet journey you were on. He described the camaraderie and respect hikers shared when unfolding their sleeping bags in make-shift shelters in the evenings. He talked about the sense of security and safety that one felt, knowing that you’re among friends who are keeping a watchful eye. He spoke of the burst of new energy he experienced each time he stepped into town to find an extra bag of trail mix, or free bottled water at the local community campground. He’d call these unexpected treats, “Trail Magic.” They are the blessings that energize you with the necessary fuel to keep on going.

The American Latino Heritage Fund of the National Park Foundation has been on a steady journey the last 2.5 years. We’ve been working with you and our partners to uncover, honor, and celebrate American Latino history in the National Park System. And we will continue to do so, all the while encouraging you to get to know, visit and be stewards of our national parks.

Thank you deeply for sticking with us! What an amazing and fulfilling experience it has been to be part of this ever-growing family – composed of friends at the Department of the Interior, the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation and groups working in outdoor recreation and historic preservation throughout the country. 

The work continues on. As this effort grows bigger, and as we turn the corner into our three-year anniversary, here are some ideas on how you can share some “Trail Magic” with us:

Donate to ALHF. Your contributions help us continue forward.
Like us on Facebook, share our posts and comment on our updates.
Follow us on Twitter and retweet our messages that inspire you or that you find informative.
Forward this newsletter to your friends and encourage them to sign up for the next issue here.

Mil gracias always for your commitment to the American Latino Heritage Fund and our national parks. May you find some “Trail Magic” along your journey.


Midy Aponte
Executive Director
American Latino Heritage Fund


  ALHF Went to San Antonio  
  Watch Disneynature's Bears  
  ICYMI: @American_Latino Expedition Makes it into the New York Times & FOX News Latino   ¡OJO! Visit Our National Parks on Fee-Free Days

ICYMI: @American_Latino Expedition Makes it into the New York Times & FOX News Latino

In keeping with the social media theme of the @American_Latino Expedition, “ICYMI” is Twitter speak for “in case you missed it.” And just in case you did, please enjoy the following two articles about efforts to connect diverse audiences with our national parks!

National Parks Try to Appeal to Minorities

LA PUSH, Wash. — Thrusting out into the Pacific Ocean, Olympic National Park can feel like a lost world, with its ferny rain forests, violent surf and cloud-shrouded peaks. Crystal Roberts, with a group called Travelistas in Nature, listened to a park ranger, Jon Preston, on the way to the beach.

But to the four women who hiked down to the sand one recent afternoon, there was an added element of strangeness: race.

“We’ve been here for two days, walking around, and I can’t think of any brown person that I’ve seen,” said Carol Cain, 42, a New Jersey resident of Dominican and Puerto Rican roots, who was zipped up tight in her hooded, dripping rain jacket. (For full article)

Take It Outside: National Park Service Wants Latinos to Embrace the Great Outdoors

Sitting on the Texas border with Mexico, Big Bend National Park is a 800,000-plus acre expanse of vast, Basin-and-Range canyons, ocotillo-dotted desert terrain, hidden waterfalls and 244 miles of a shifting, deceptively dangerous Rio Grande river.

But when Midy Aponte, the executive director of the American Latino Heritage Fund of the National Park Foundation (ALHF), pulled into the park for the first time, there was one thing that truly stood out to her. (For full article)

¡OJO! Visit Our National Parks on Fee-Free Days

Did you hear the news? America’s national parks will offer free admission on nine days during 2014. Get out your calendar, save the dates and start planning your national park adventures today!

If you need some inspiration, check out our FREE Owner’s Guides online. Our latest Owner’s Guide, “I Heart Parks” (released just this month for Valentine’s Day) is chock-full of ways to enjoy America's national parks with loved ones.

Here are the remaining fee-free dates for 2014:

April 19-20, 2014: Opening weekend of National Park Week
August 25, 2014: National Park Service Birthday
September 27, 2014: National Public Lands Day
November 11, 2014: Veterans Day

And while fee-free days are amazing, don’t forget that only 133 of your national parks usually charge an entrance fee. That means that hundreds of your national parks are always fee-free!  Find a park near you and treat yourself to at least one national park adventure in 2014. And then be sure to share your experiences with us!

ALHF Went to San Antonio

ALHF joined historic preservationists, community activists, Latino scholars and students for the San Antonio Legacy Summit on February 15, 2014. Summit attendees discussed “American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study” and the importance of identifying and preserving Latino heritage in Texas.

Watch Disneynature's Bears

Round up your friends and family and head to the theatre for the premiere of Disneynature’s BEARS! See this great film during opening week (April 18-24, 2014), and the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation! It’s a great way to have fun and support our national parks.

The American Latino
Heritage Fund is part of the
National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks.



National Park Foundation

National Park Service


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Larger than the state of Rhode Island, Big Bend National Park has something for everyone. Float the Rio Grande, stargaze or explore majestic canyons. Click hereto learn more.


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