A Hueco Tanks park ranger helps more Latinos access the outdoors


Share post:

The desert plants and animals that inhabit Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site have taught Nicole Roque important lessons in adaptation.

Mesquite trees can sprout roots more than 100 feet deep in search of water. Texas horned lizards change colors to blend into their environment. Desert crustaceans lay eggs that can stay dormant for decades before hatching.

Roque, 32, is an interpretive guide at Hueco Tanks, a world-renowned destination for rock climbing and prehistoric pictographs 36 miles outside El Paso. Her journey to the job required a series of adaptations that now inform how she welcomes guests to the park — particularly those who are the least likely to visit.

“I really make an effort to help people feel more comfortable in coming to experience a place like this,” she said.

The rock formations at Hueco Tanks resemble giant knuckles on a clenched fist. Nestled within the park’s hardened surfaces is a fragile ecosystem of “living fossils” — tiny aquatic animals that date back to the era when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. They live in shallow water-filled depressions, the namesake huecos, in the rocks. Hueco Tanks limits its visitation to 70 people at a time to protect this ecosystem. Rock climbers, who tend to come from more affluent backgrounds and know how to use the park’s permitting system, often fill the park’s capacity in the cooler months of November through March.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Related articles

Hurricane Ian could disrupt pivotal Mets-Braves series

It's been thought for at least a month, if not longer, that the upcoming series between the...

Greece: EU using Med countries like a refugee ‘parking lot’

ATHENS -- Greece on Monday urged the European Union to lift movement restrictions for refugees recognized by...

Lightning postpone two preseason home games due to Hurricane Ian

The Tampa Bay Lightning have postponed their preseason home games on September 28 and 29 due...

Canada drops vaccine mandate for visiting pro athletes

Big news out of the Great White North as Canada made it official on Monday that it...
English English Somali Somali