OREGON—Meeting up for the trip of a lifetime, an excited group of parents, family members and children of all ages joined Latino Outdoors of Central Oregon for a guided and interpretive hike to Tumalo Falls.
Located just outside of Bend on the Deschutes National Forest, the Tumalo Falls trailhead can be a busy and intimidating place for those who don’t spend much time outdoors. But thanks to the efforts of people like Zavier ‘Zavi’ Borja, groups like Latino Outdoors have been making inroads in helping people to feel more comfortable with being outside and using their public lands.
“This is our second outing,” Borja explained as the group made their way up the trail. “It’s a good baby step, a good beginning, and that’s why I chose this [place]; because you drive up, you see a beautiful waterfall, and you can go up another two miles and see Double Falls.”
As everybody hiked together on the way up to Double Falls, the conversation turned to the future: of mountain biking, rock climbing and camping.
“On the first outing I was kind of picking their brains,” said Borja. “What would you like to see from this type of program?
“And they wanted an introduction to camping,” he said. “We’re afraid. We don’t know how to, or what we might need.”
But that’s the beauty of having these kind of group events, because they encourage conversation, curiosity and discovery that, when done right, can lead to a lifetime love of all things outdoors.
“And for me that’s the greatest thing,” Borja concluded as the group bounded toward the waterfall. “I just want to get more folks in outdoor spaces and to feel comfortable.
To know that it’s here, and that it’s just as much theirs as it is anybody else’s.”
For more information, visit the Latino Outdoors website.