Hispanics Say Ya Basta! Ya No Mas! to Pollution and Fossil Fuels, like the Pope

September 19, 2015

A Hispanic woman in Colorado writes, I feel the need to protect and celebrate our heritage and our environment because it is more important than ever. While we want to highlight the wide array of contributions Latinos make to enrich our culture, society, and government during this Hispanic Heritage Month, this is also a moment to face some realities head on.

Low-income communities and communities of color face drastically disproportionate impacts from extreme weather events and pollution. We also have less access to high quality and affordable food options, clean, renewable energy, and to enjoying the outdoors. And here’s the part that really gets me; Latinos are conservationists by culture because our abuelas taught us the importance of caring for madre tierra. Ya Basta! It’s time for our decision makers to hear our collective voice!

My work with Protégete: Nuestro Aire, Nuestra Salud, a program of Conservation Colorado, is how I fight for the future of my community. “Protegete” represents protecting clean air, water, and public health, which matter to everyone, but many Hispanic Coloradans are underrepresented in protecting themselves within the political process from the impacts of climate change. Latinos have a long history of being conservationists; now is the time to make our voices heard, to ensure we have a better tomorrow.

In our work at Protégete, my team and I organize Hispanic communities in our state to fight ‘pa madre tierra and our familia’s future just like nuestras abuelas have done for us.

As the Pope said, people should get involved, have courage, and rise up. YOU need you to get involved, because we face real challenges. Big polluters and shortsighted politicians have stood in the way of action for a long time, and they’ve gotten very good at it. It’s time for our community, all of us, to stand up and say, “YA NO MAS!”.