The friends had bounced around ideas of starting a podcast or talking about their experiences. But it really started to come together on that 12-mile hike to the turquoise waters of Havasu Falls. "We rounded the corner, and I remember going down to the falls, and we started to look in the water and see people play in the water," Garcia says. "We kind of looked at each other and we're like, 'What? There are people that look like us here. Brown people.' Just little things like that got us really excited because that's not exactly like that in the Southeast where we're from. We got excited about that and one thing after another. We were hiking, and we saw this ladder, and it had something written in Spanish. We don't really see Spanish written on signs. Even if you go to REI, there's nothing written in Spanish."
Then, when they were hiking through The Narrows at Zion National Park, they started throwing around ideas. The combination of the beautiful environment they were in and the creative photographer and artist friends they were with inspired them to start an Instagram account. On the hike, they thought of names and settled on LatinxHikers. But there was one catch: They couldn't get cell service in The Narrows to claim the name. "Luz took off running back and got on the shuttle bus back to the campground where we had service to claim the handle," Garcia recalls. "No one had it, thank goodness, and that's how it started."
The account's first photo was of The Narrows, and from there, the two women started sharing their different experiences and favorite places to go. It became a storytelling journal of sorts. Three years later, it's evolved into a growing community of over 12K followers.