Over the course of this past summer, the interpretive staff at Black Canyon reached out to local Latino residents in communities around the park, contacting more than 7,000 people through three distinct venues – informal contacts in local communities on weekends, special programs designed to provide connections to cultural and natural resource stories, and a weekly booth during the Main In Motion block party events held in the gateway community of Montrose, Colorado.
Spanish was the only language spoken by some audience members, yet rangers fluent in the language were successful in bridging the communication gap. Using some of the principles found in the director's “Call to Action,” rangers listened more and talked less in order to provide links to park stories. Listening also helped to add to program success as the summer moved along and pointed towards new ways to reach various audiences the park could contact in the future.
Many ideas for improving outreach opportunities became evident, as well as seeing a chance to enrich the diversity of the stories in the park. Nearby communities have Latino populations that range from 20 to 35%, and the park has sought candidates for employment from these communities to strengthen the outreach opportunities. Funding from the Youth Internship Program allowed the park to augment existing positions and to realize success this year.