Blog Post By Jona Elwell

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Advocates Past and Present

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Why September 15? It’s the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

We’re marking Hispanic Heritage Month with a two-part series. Up first? Let’s here more about advocates past and present:

The co-founder of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH), Berta Cáceres had taken on large adversaries like illegal loggers and plantation owners who had threatened her community. In 2015, she was lauded the prestigious Goldman environmental prize for her work protesting against the construction of a hydroelectric dam.

Through self-sacrifice, a commitment to nonviolence, and their spirituality, César Chávez and Dolores Huerta changed a nation. Together they founded the farm worker movement, fought against agribusiness, and organized thousands of laborers so they could earn a living wage and have just working conditions. In 1962, they launched the National Farm Workers Association, which preceded the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) union.

Taking environmental activism to the courts, Adrianna Quintero cultivates partnerships with diverse communities nationwide in support of environmental advocacy efforts. A leading expert in diverse partnerships and an NRDC senior attorney, she initiated NRDC’s Latino outreach efforts and is the co-founder/director of Voces Verdes, a national coalition that connects Latino businesses, community leaders, and organizational partners with government decision-makers calling for action on climate change and clean energy.

Get Updates