Having grown up in Lima, Peru, Mariana Cevallos never had much experience with nature. When she moved to Colorado in 2015, she immediately fell in love with the great outdoors and Colorado’s active lifestyle. As she immersed herself in the outdoors lifestyle, she began to notice there was very little minority representation.
Cevallos started to research her observations and learned that minorities represent just 15 percent of outdoor enthusiasts even though by 2045, people of color will be the majority population in the United States. Wanting to entice more minorities to experience the outdoors and working alongside her husband Mike Davlantes, who grew up in the great outdoors, they founded the Alluvia Packraft company.
Alluvia Packrafts are lightweight, packable, inflatable boats that can be folded down to the size of a roll of paper towels and weigh less than a gallon of water. Unlike similar brands, Alluvia aims to be a more approachable option for those new to the outdoors. These lightweight packrafts are ideal for urban/suburban use with easy access to water.
Alluvia also invests in its mission of making the outdoors accessible to everyone by applying 3 percent of its net profits toward a more inclusive, diverse and safe space for everyone. Alluvia does this by partnering with organizations that currently offer outdoor recreation programs to provide packrafting lessons for underrepresented groups, showcasing how easy it is to use them while enjoying the outdoors and creating a sense of community and safety.
“Our goal is to reduce the barriers to entry of outdoor sports for minority populations,” said Cevallos. “Our primary research confirms that providing gear that makes the outdoor sports more approachable will help entice and draw the minority users to get into the outdoors.”
“Our social program targets adults and children from underrepresented groups,” Cevallos continued. “This doesn’t just mean minorities, but also gender, body types, abilities and communities.”
Nathan Fey, Director of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC), reached out to Alluvia Packrafts after learning of their social program through the Startup Colorado Outdoor Industry Group. With the recently signed legislation HB21-1318, the outdoor equity grant program, Fey thought there could be great synergy in aligning the Outdoor Equity group with Alluvia packrafts.
HB21-1318 established an outdoor equity board in the division of parks and wildlife. The board is responsible for the governance of the outdoor equity grant program which is created to increase access and opportunity for underserved youth and their families to experience Colorado's open spaces, state parks, public lands and other outdoor areas.
“With Alluvia’s recent launch on the western slope, Mariana and Mike are not only a welcomed addition to Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry, but even more a great partner in using the strength of our industry to transform lives through creating equity in outdoor access,” said Nathan Fey. “We look forward to working with them as they continue to grow their presence, and their impact, throughout the U.S.”
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