Córdoba, nestled among mountains, rivers, and abundant water bodies, has become a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts. The local culture embraces the outdoors with enthusiasm, exemplified by the cherished tradition of ‘asados’ – gatherings by the riverside that feature barbecue parties uniting family and friends. These events reflect a strong passion for outdoor pursuits, particularly hiking and water-based activities such as swimming and camping.
In Argentina, specifically in Córdoba, environmental challenges persist due to the relentless development driven by housing interests, resulting in the degradation of natural landscapes. Nonetheless, there are noteworthy organizations dedicated to preserving wildlife and ecosystems. The Rewilding Foundation in Argentina, for instance, tirelessly focuses on restoring degraded ecosystems and reintroducing native species, particularly in the Esteros del Iberá region.
For people like Mateo who call this country home, Hispanic Heritage is rooted deep and celebrated often. His heritage has shaped who is he is today. His rich culture has directed him towards a profound love for the outdoors and his involvement with organizations like SOAR. The allure of the outdoors and the challenge of working with ADHD children led Mateo to join SOAR. This experience has not only fostered personal growth but has also provided an opportunity to witness the transformative power of nature and outdoor experiences. Working with the SOAR population has instilled qualities of patience, compassion, and understanding. It has shattered his previous misconceptions and deepened Mateo’s comprehension of the intricacies of the human mind. Working internationally has broadened Mateo’s perspective on life, helping him realize his true priorities and desired way of life. It has been a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.
In conclusion, Hispanic/Latinx culture has left an enduring imprint on outdoor activities and conservation efforts in Córdoba, Argentina, and beyond. This cultural heritage has cultivated a profound reverence for nature and an unwavering commitment to its preservation for future generations. As Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated, let it serve as a platform to champion environmental stewardship and inclusivity, ensuring that the outdoors remains an inviting and accessible space for all.
Watch our interview with Patty and Marco on Youtube to hear how other staff embrace their heritage!