The American Latino Heritage Fund Announces 2013 @American_Latino Expedition Contest Winners

The American Latino Heritage Fund Announces 2013 @American_Latino Expedition Contest Winners


Follow The National Park Adventures At and Uncover American Latino Contributions In America's Treasured Places.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 8:00am

CAMPAIGN: Aramark Building Community

CONTENT: Press Release

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2013 /3BL Media/ -- The American Latino Heritage Fund(ALHF) of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, announced today the winners of the 2013 @American_Latino Expedition. The Expedition's goal is to further engage diverse audiences to explore and connect with America's national parks.

Through a partnership with ARAMARK Parks and Destinations and leading outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), ALHF has selected three dynamic groups to participate in three different national park adventures. Each Expedition trip will focus on education, park stewardship, outdoor recreation and exploration, all the while highlighting historic American Latino contributions at each site.

The 2013 @American_Latino Expedition winners are:

"We are inspired by the overwhelmingly positive response and interest to participate in the 2013 @American_Latino Expedition. There is a real desire to explore and discover how America's national parks tell the story of American Latino contributions and as our partners and friends at ARAMARK and REI can testify, choosing among the applicants was very difficult," said Midy Aponte, executive director of the American Latino Heritage Fund. "We are confident this year's winners will do an unbelievable job sharing what they learn and experience in our national parks with diverse audiences across the nation."

Visit often to join in on the Expedition and read each participant's blog posts. Follow the @American_Latino Expedition using the hashtag #ALEx13 on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

"We congratulate the winners and look forward to providing them with the experience of a lifetime at Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Olympic National Park and Mesa Verde National Park," said Bruce W. Fears, president of ARAMARK Parks and Destinations.

Each group will embark on an exciting national park adventure that includes visiting a local REI store to be outfitted for their trip and hosted excursions and over-night stays at unique and diverse national park lodges managed by ARAMARK Parks and Destinations. Group itineraries will focus on learning about each park's significance, its connection to American history, as well as environmental issues affecting the park and how one can help in its preservation. Tours and activities offered by ARAMARK Parks and Destinations will create exciting in-park experiences. Bloggers will also meet directly with park superintendents, park rangers, park scientists and historians.

"We are thrilled to outfit and support the 2013 @American_Latino Expedition team members as they prepare for their adventure.  REI and Columbia Sportswear will outfit each group to ensure the most comfort and style to create memories for a lifetime," said Laura Swapp, director of Diversity and Inclusion for REI. "Their dynamic stories will inspire others to explore our national parks and learn about our nation's rich history - all while having fun with friends and family."

The American Latino Heritage Fund wishes to thank ARAMARK Parks and Destinations, the Exclusive Host of the @American_Latino Expedition; REI, the Official Outdoor Outfitter of the @American_Latino Expedition; and Columbia Sportswear for their generous support.

Established in 2011, ALHF works to improve the representation of American Latino heritage in, visitors to, and the long-term stewardship of America's national parks.  ALHF has provided more than $180,000 to support the nominations of historic places to date – including the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in California and the Casa Dra. Concha Melendez Ramirez site inPuerto Rico. ALHF has pledged to continue funding nominations of additional sites into the national park system and is actively fundraising to meet its goal.

To learn more about the work of the American Latino Heritage Fund and how to support its important efforts, visit


The American Latino Heritage Fund of the National Park Foundation will assist the National Park Service and communities across the country to ensure that our national parks and historic sites preserve, reflect and engage the diverse stories and communities of American Latinos for future generations. For more information, please visit, follow us on Twitter at@American_Latino and find us on Facebook

ABOUT ARAMARK PARKS AND DESTINATIONS ARAMARK Parks and Destinations, a division of ARAMARK, delivers authentic and memorable experiences at national and state parks, national forests, specialty hotels, conference centers, museums and other tourist destinationsthroughout the United States. In partnership with its clients, ARAMARK Parks and Destinations seek to enhance the guest experience by offering industry-leading hospitality, environmental stewardship, recreational and interpretive programs. For more information, or follow us on Twitter @TravelARAMARK.


REI is a $2 billion national multichannel retail co-op headquartered outside of Seattle. With more than 5 million active members, REI serves the needs of outdoor adventurers through innovative,quality products; inspiring classes and trips; and integrated customer service that allows shoppers to buy great gear and clothing in any way they want. REI has 129 stores in 32 states, as well as and  This year REI will invest $3 million in local communities to help care for outdoor spaces. For more information find us on Facebook at follow us on Twitter @REI.


The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, raises private funds that directly aid, support and enrich America's more than 400 national parks and their programs.  Chartered by Congress as the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation plays a critical role in conservation and preservation efforts, establishing national parks as powerful learning environments, and giving all audiences an equal and abundant opportunity to experience, enjoy and support America's treasured places.


Media Contacts: Alanna Sobel, National Park Foundation, 202.354.6486,  Megan Behrbaum, REI Public Affairs, 253.437.7736,  Lauren Pearce, Riester for ARAMARK Parks and Destinations, 602.462.2252,