Regional Environmental Champion
Co-founder and Executive Director, Defensores De La Cuenca
Abel Olivo (he/him/el) is a dedicated promoter of environmental education and access to nature for the well-being of Latin@ communities. A long-time resident of the Washington, D.C. area, Olivo has animated many organizations with his expertise in government affairs, education, and the environment. Most recently, he has co-founded Defensores De La Cuenca to celebrate and strengthen Latin@ recreational access to the region’s watersheds and popular understanding of watershed ecology. As an innovator in creating environmental experiences for Latin@s, Olivo presented his insights at the North American Association for Environmental Education in October 2019. Olivo also served as Director for Community Outreach and Partnerships for Corazón Latino, a national organization promoting environmental access; he draws on years of experience as a lobbyist for this role.
Olivo’s activism centers on Prince George’s County, Maryland, where Latin@ residents have increasingly found a home, representing a growth of 7%-20% of the county population during 2000-2020. Olivo has nurtured Latin@s by creating and supporting many opportunities for children and families to access nature, for example by serving on the planning committee of the popular Festival del Rio Anacostia in years past, or by coordinating park clean-ups, during this COVID era. or by teaching youth environmental education through Project Learning Tree. He also shares his methods with regional professionals, such as through the online workshop he co-led at the 15th annual Chesapeake Environmental Forum, in October, titled “Meaningful Connections to the Latino Community.”
For abundant energy, creativity and effectiveness at engaging the Latino community, Audubon Naturalist Society is honored to celebrate Abel Olivo as a Regional Champion.