On July 20, four national conservation organizations convened a Congressional Briefing to bring attention to the vagaries of climate change as part of Latino Conservation Week. The event, hosted by Congresswoman Nanette Barragan, and created for Hill staffers, focused on the impact of pollution and environmental injustice on Latinos around the country, along with an outline of conservation efforts and their impacts on communities throughout the U.S.
With more than 100 million people in our country facing excessive heat conditions and the Southwest struggling with new water shortages, this Latino Conservation Week represents not only a celebration but also an urgent call to honor and protect our Madre Tierra. – Antonieta Cadiz, Climate Power
A diverse crowd of more than 75 people attended the event. Maite Arce, Executive Director of Hispanic Access Foundation, kicked off the night by talking about her own journey to learning about the negative impacts of climate change. As a young girl growing up in Baja California, in Mexico, she was surrounded by nature, but when she moved to the U.S, her family lived in an urban area with little green space. She remembers being struck by how different life was without trees.
Felipe Benitez, Executive Director, Corazón Latino, Antonieta Cadiz, Director of Hispanic Engagement, Climate Power, and Esther Sosa, Latino Partnerships Manager, EDF, rounded out the night’s briefing by reminding everyone that as long as we take care of our Madre Tierra, Mother Earth will take care of us.
Musical guests included acclaimed DC-based musicians Trio Caliente and Jonathan Acosta. Rumba music filled the room to remind attendees that while climate change is a serious issue, music can and should soothe the soul. Climate change is an issue that must be confronted by all of us, young and old alike, but we should not and can not lose hope that we can in the near future, find innovative solutions to some of the world’s most dire problems.