Marina La Grave is an intercultural communication and engagement consultant, U.N. Translator and Interpreter with over three decades of experience in Boulder County. Through her consulting firm, CLACE, she supports a diverse clientele encompassing government, academia, nonprofits, and private enterprise in the areas of language access, diversity and inclusion, community engagement, intercultural program development, cross-cultural communication, translation, and interpretation.
Most recently, La Grave initiated “Explorando Senderos de Boulder”, a growing grassroot movement aimed at getting the Latinx community of Boulder County to discover, explore, and experience the multiple open spaces and recreation opportunities the area offers. Explorando Senderos was initiated in late 2020, amid the COVID crisis, as a way to positively impact Latinx community members who were struggling both physically and mentally during the pandemic. The movement derives from the Cultural Responsiveness & Inclusion Strategic Plan (CRISP) for Boulder County Parks and Open Space, (BCPOS) that La Grave developed in collaboration with the Trestle Strategy Group.
These weekly outdoor experiences benefit physical, mental, and social well-being; nature brings the local Latinx families together to experience a new trail every week while linking to history, cultural heritage, and spiritual values. The unique ethos of Explorando Senderos de Boulder drives efficiency, grassroots engagement, explosive growth, and impact. Unlike other community programs with similar goals that are organized by well-intentioned outsiders, Explorando Senderos is powered by self-organization, Latinx family-to-family support, co-created experiences - and yes, love.
The heart and soul of Explorando Senderos lies in trust and respect as opposed to rigid planning, traditional teaching, and external authority. This approach allows Senderistas to influence their own experiences, grow in confidence, and gain valuable experience as community organizers. It also transforms each Sendero from a simple hike to a deeply personal outdoor experience that allows participants to disconnect from everyday life, reconnect with the natural world, and nurture their families and themselves.