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Meet Defensores de la Cuenca

DWR is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by recognizing the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success through Virginia’s great outdoors!

Defensores de la Cuenca (Watershed Defenders) is a Latino-led 501(c)(3) non-profit that connects Latin@/es and Spanish-speakers to nature through shared experiences and opportunities to preserve and defend the Chesapeake Bay watershed for a healthier mind, body, and soul.

We were founded in July of 2020. Our ultimate goal is to build a network of Latin@/e leaders who are taking action to support Madre Tierra.

Describe how your organization or program connects the Hispanic community to the outdoors and/or wildlife in Virginia?

We create family-friendly events that are welcoming and inviting to ensure the Latin@/e participants have fun and have positive connections to nature. We share information about the many ways the environment impacts us and how we impact the environment.

Describe how the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources has supported your organization or program and the impact it has had.

VA DWR has been very supportive of our efforts to create these positive experiences for the Spanish-speakers of VA so that we can grow their interest in our natural resources, to grow their base of knowledge around conservation and stewardship, and to build out of network of folks to invite even more from the community into the space to enjoy all the great natural resources that Virginia has to offer.

Provide a brief story or real-life example that showcases the impact your efforts have had on the Hispanic community.

This year, Defensores de la Cuenca collaborated with Friends of the Rappahannock, Semilla Cultural, and VA DWR to host our first ever Festival del Río Rappahannock. It was a huge success. We gathered in Old Mill park for a day of fun, fishing, food, and exploration. We had music to help celebrate the occasion, fun games, and did I forget to mention food?…our friends at the local restaurant, Juan More Taco, provided us with delicious food. Thanks to our friends Eddie, Alex, and the rest of the VA DWR crew, we had a fun day of fishing on the Rappahannock. We created a fun, family-friendly event that invited the Latino and Spanish-speaking community to come out and have fun in nature and make positive connections. That is the number one goal.

Provide information on how people can support your organization.

People can visit our website to learn about our events and programming at While there, donations can be made by clicking the donate button or using this link.

Para obtener más información sobre el Departamento de Recursos de Vida Silvestre de Virginia y las oportunidades de caza, pesca y recreación al aire libre que existen en Virginia, mire este video.

  • September 12, 2022