The newest National Park Service online travel itinerary, American Latino Heritage, helps meet the Director’s Call to Action to tell the stories of diverse communities (“Fill in the Blanks,” #1) and to help communities learn more about their heritage (“History Lesson,” #3). This itinerary highlights the important role Latino peoples have played in the history and development of the United States. Launched on September 20, 2012, the itinerary was announced with a press release (in English and Spanish) and many emails. From the first Spanish expeditions to the New World, to the struggle for civil rights spearheaded by Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta, American Latino heritage spans five centuries and is an integral part of the story of the United States. The itinerary, which includes stops at nearly 200 historic sites in 33 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the territories of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, is loaded with information, images, maps, and essays is available at: http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/american_latino_heritage/ .
“As a storyteller of our nation’s past, the National Park Service is committed to connecting people with the places and stories of the diverse peoples who have come together to create the heritage of the United States,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Our American Latino Heritage comes alive in this itinerary, the latest in the ongoing series that invites Americans and others to ‘Discover Our Shared Heritage.’”
Each destination on the itinerary is connected to a park or program administered by the National Park Service, including units of the National Park System, National Historic Landmarks, National Heritage Areas and National Historic Trails. Most are sites are also included in the National Register of Historic Places, which the National Park Service expands and maintains. Together they reflect the many diverse ways Latino peoples have contributed to and shaped the rich heritage of the United States for some 500 years.
The National Park Service’s Heritage Education Services produced this itinerary in partnership with the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. The American Latino Heritage itinerary is the 55th in the online Discover Our Shared Heritage travel itinerary series and is part of the Department of the Interior’s American Latino Heritage Initiative. The series supports historic preservation, promotes public awareness of history, and encourages visits to historic places throughout the country.