Krystle is the Director of Programs for Community Nature Connections, a non-profit that focuses on outdoor equity for underserved communities in Los Angeles.
“My community is plagued by freeways, metal recyclers, trucking yards, a landfill, and mechanic shops, all of which have contributed to a high-pollution neighborhood. I also have memories of growing up in a community that was poverty stricken, and where crime and where drugs were (and still are) a burden in almost every household, including my own.
“Although my family was not wealthy, I still had one experience that many did not: camping and visiting parks. I have had the privilege of being born into a family who loves nature. The influence that my father had in my life by taking me and my brothers to our local public parks had a tremendous effect on me: it instilled a deep-rooted connection to the lands I visited. The admiration and comfort that the outdoors has brought me has allowed me to begin the healing process for a lot of trauma. The outdoors has not only provided me a therapeutic outlet, but has allowed me to remain healthy and active.
“My work experience prior to volunteering for Latino Outdoors highlighted the lack of diversity in the outdoors, the lack of inclusivity, and the lack of access to public spaces that communities, such as my own, experience. As an individual who has found her voice in the outdoors, I do this work to help others find theirs.”
Krystle is a member of the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program.