Rod Torrez

Rod Torrez was born in Williams, Arizona, and has lived most of his life in the West. Love for the outdoors and an ethic to care for the land was instilled in him during his childhood in Arizona and Colorado, where he learned to enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, hunting and cross-country skiing.

Descended from Chavez, Torrez, Baca and Cordova families of New Mexico and Northern Arizona, and with ties to Pueblo culture, his roots run centuries deep in the region. He attended Colorado State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he studied writing and literature with an emphasis on Chicano and Native American works.

During his studies, Rod never strayed far from the outdoors. He traveled throughout the region and into northern Mexico, learning about curanderismo and ethnobotany. He spent his summers fighting fires in Colorado, Arizona and California. After teaching for a time at Colorado State, he decided to leave academe and work full time in the national parks, where he could share his love for the outdoors with the public.

In addition to serving as HECHO’s director, Rod also works as an independent planner and design consultant, helping parks and museums to improve how they share their stories with the public. He now resides on the Pajarito Plateau and spends much of his time exploring and enjoying life in the mountains and valleys of his family’s homeland.

For Rod, HECHO is about acknowledging centuries of Hispanic heritage in the West, encouraging Hispanic families to strengthen their connections to this land through recreation, and giving voice to the beloved landscapes as issues arise that affect them.