Latinos and Hispanics have a deep and intimate history with the ocean, marine conservation and surfing. Surrounded by millions of kilometres of ocean, Latin America gets to experience so many of the world’s most biodiverse areas. Chile, Uruguay and Argentina are all on the forefront of marine protection. And in the U.S., Latino people are helping lead new initiatives and driving passion for ocean stewardship.
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re cheering on the wave-makers who’ve built strong communities and pioneered change in the world. Join us as we continue to diversify our feeds by checking out a few of our favorite new follows:
Created by 3 Latina surfers in East Los Angeles, Courage Camps is a community space for BIPOC to socialize and surf. Through free surfing lessons at camp, Courage Camps helps expose the deep culture of Latinx and Hispanic people to new audiences. This group brings together people of all ages to be bold and ride the waves.
“I want this to be for the people that wouldn’t have access for these kinds of things if it weren’t for us, this little community that we’re building,” said co-founder Giselle Carrillo.
Latino Outdoors is a community built on amplifying Latino’s experiences and adventures. Through virtual and in-person events, Latino Outdoors supports a network of leaders focused on Latinx voices. Their mission is to provide a platform for storytelling where people can share their own narratives and see how conservation has been woven into Latino culture for generations.
At 24, marine biologist Melissa Cristina Marquez founded the Fins United Initiative, which provides easy access to information on sharks and the ocean. The organization’s educational focus introduces participatory learning techniques to help everyone understand the importance of our oceans.
Founded in 2011, Azul works with Latinx to protect coastal communities, resources and marine life. Based in California, Azul’s been part of several major policy victories. They’ve helped ban single-use plastic bags in California, prevent the sale and possession of shark fins and increased access to local beaches. They’re the only ocean conservation organization in the U.S. that works exclusively with Latinos and Hispanics.
Out in the open waters, kids learn how to overcome their fears and find a new passion in surfing. Through a celebratory day on the water, Un Mar De Colores introduces new generations to care for the ocean and works to bridge the socioeconomic gap in the surfing community. Everyone is encouraged to join and nurture their love of the water.