Exclusive: Hypebae Sits Down With Hike Clerb's Evelynn Escobar
Let’s go on a hot girl hike.
There are very few spaces where Black and Brown women can exist in peace — one of them is Hike Clerb.
The cheekily-named outdoors-centric organization was founded by Evelynn Escobar to create community for over 1000 women of color who enjoy roughing it in nature without the microagressions. Discovering the healing benefits of being amongst flora and fauna, the DMV native knew that she needed to carve out room for people of color to reconnect with their ancestral roots through nature. “As Black, Indigenous, people of color we all hold trauma that is connected to the land. In going out and centering our wellness, we are not only healing ourselves, but the past and future generations,” she asserts in an exclusive interview with Hypebae.
Since its founding in 2017, the Los Angeles-based collective has spread to cities like New York and Toronto, bringing its intersectional and inclusive approach to underserved communities across the country. While at first pass, going on hot girl walks may not seem like the answer to systemic oppression — and that’s because it isn’t. Too often, the burden of cleaning up society’s and other people’s messes has fallen on the shoulders of women of color, leaving us vulnerable to a slew of health issues. Hike Clerb provides an easily accessible way of dealing with the trauma inflicted upon Black and Indigenous women of color, allowing us to find solace in a land that was once ours.
Continue scrolling to read learn more about Evelynn Escobar and Hike Clerb.
What led you to start The Hike Clerb? Why is it important to make the outdoors and wellness accessible to people of color and femme-aligned folks?
My experience in the outdoors has been a powerful tool for healing, which led me to begin Hike Clerb. I remember going to Zion for the first time and being completely awestruck that this majestic place had just been here and I had no idea. Then to see that the people who filled the park were a homogenous sample of the population, I knew I had to get more people like myself out here to see and experience nature. As Black, Indigenous people of color, we all hold trauma that is connected to the land. Whether it’s being forcibly removed or excluded. The ramifications are still overwhelmingly felt in our communities today when we look at mental and physical health disparities. In going out and centering our wellness, we are not only healing ourselves but the past and future generations.
How did you grow your community and find other Hike Clerb members to help you expand your passion project into a full-fledged non-profit organization?
It all came together super organically. When it first began, I literally just put a call out to friends on social media about what I was creating. At our first hike to the Griffith Observatory, 10 friends showed up and my husband took photos of us. I posted the photos on the new Hike Clerb Instagram and the rest, as they say, was history. From there, it grew through word of mouth and social media. I’m grateful to have created something that really resonates with other people to the point that they want to support and be included by any means.
What are your earliest memories of wellness, health and self-care routines?
My earliest memories of wellness and health are being treated with unconventional medicine and salves by my grandmother. I’m a Black and Indigenous Latina, so I think back to her cutting onions in my sock or using Vicks as a cure all. As far as self-care routines go, I have always loved a bath. As we know, water is so healing and it’s still a method of care that I regularly tap into today. In fact, I even birthed my daughter in my bathtub.
As women, we’re often told that we should have it all, then told that we’re selfish or overly ambitious for wanting to have it all. As a mother of one and a half, how do you balance work with family? How have you changed your approach to work since becoming a mother and how have you rewritten your own rules around motherhood and work?
Honestly, I think one of the things I’m most proud of is how seamlessly motherhood has integrated itself into my life. We often hear such negative opinions about becoming parents like, “your life is over” or simply a “get ready” implied with negativity, but I’ve had such an amazing and healing experience. I
definitely have been doing some self-work around defaulting to overworking myself because at the end of the day, especially in these early years, I don’t want to miss a thing when it comes to Isla and the way she unfolds as a little human. I lead hikes with Isla on my back and bring her with me when I travel for work with the help of my husband Franco who is a creative stay-at-home dad. I’m deeply grateful to be forging a new path for myself in regards to motherhood and hope that other women will also feel empowered to not have to compartmentalize themselves for the sake of their career.
How do you deal with imposter syndrome as a founder of a nonprofit?
Imposter syndrome is fundamentally about fear. Fear of not being enough or worthy. When I get caught up in those cycles of thinking, I take a moment to reparent myself and change the narrative. All the circumstances it took for me to arrive to this place weren’t for nothing. Practicing acceptance, being gentle with myself, reminding myself that I am worthy and it’s more than okay to learn, grow and make mistakes along the way is how I bring myself back.
What skills would you say are important to cultivate as an entrepreneur?
I would say that above anything, you need to be flexible — be like water. Accept that you may need to change course, flow and transform and be rooted in gratitude, empathy and integrity. We all have experienced what it felt like to work under people in less-than-ideal circumstances. Lead with understanding and genuine care for the people you’re building with. Take care of your people.
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