Linking Southwestern Herritage Through Archaeology (LSWHTA)
Linking Southwestern Heritage Through Archaeology (LSWHTA) (formerly known as Linking Hispanic Heritage Through Archeology (LHHTA)), is a program for Hispanic youth ages 14-18 years that uses regional archeology as a bridge to connect urban Hispanic youth and their families to their own cultural history. Through visits to National Parks, local museums, and university laboratories, students engage in the study of Southwest archeology from the prehistoric to the historical periods. They also look at (and participate in) present-day activities that evolved from past cultural practices.
LSWHTA is a partnership between the Environmental Education Exchange, the National Park Service and the University of Arizona. Primary funding is provided by the National Park Service (NPS), with additional funding provided by the Western National Parks Association (WNPA).
As an incentive, and to deepen participants’ engagement with their experiences, iPads are given to the students and teachers to be used as tools for recording and documenting their activities. In order to successfully complete the program (and receive their iPads), each participant creates and presents a personal digital story of their experiences in LSWHTA.
By forming personal and community-based dialogues through this program, the Environmental Education Exchange is helping the National Park Service develop a stronger relationship with the Hispanic community and increase their attendance and use of National Parks.