THE LEAFLET

September 18, 2023 /
Christina Hester

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month, observed from September 15th to October 15th, is a time to celebrate the rich culture, history, and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx communities in the United States. We’re here to share the stories of some remarkable Latinx environmentalists who are making a significant impact in their communities.

Vanessa Hauc, an Emmy-winning journalist, is known for her dedication to environmental reporting. She serves as a correspondent for Telemundo and is a passionate advocate for climate action. Hauc has covered major environmental events such as the United Nations Climate Change Conferences, using her platform to raise awareness about critical environmental issues.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a young Indigenous environmental activist, is a prominent voice in the climate movement. He is the Youth Director of Earth Guardians, a nonprofit organization that empowers young people to become environmental leaders. Martinez has spoken at the United Nations and has been instrumental in mobilizing youth to demand climate action.

Erika Zavaleta is a Latinx ecologist and professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on conservation biology and the effects of climate change on biodiversity. Zavaleta’s work helps inform strategies for preserving our planet’s ecosystems in the face of environmental challenges.

A local organization that was born out of a passion for the environment and love for our Latino community – EcoLatinos is committed to social and environmental justice initiatives for all, especially in Spanish-speaking and under resourced communities. EcoLatinos works to engage, educate, and activate the Latino communities of the Chesapeake Bay and the Mid-Atlantic Region. They support non-profit, private, and public organizations creating connections with a growing group of potential environmental stewards in the community.

Also, in the spirit of celebrating the accomplishments and strides of the Latinx community, we are providing downloadable PDFs of the Spanish versions of our Junior Urban Forester Guide! The guide is full of activities, worksheets, lessons on trees, their features, how they help our city, and how to identify them (available to download in the K-2nd grade and 3rd-5th grade versions).

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the diverse and invaluable contributions of Latinx individuals to various fields, including environmental conservation. Latinx environmentalists are working tirelessly to protect our planet and advocate for a sustainable future. Let’s use this month as an opportunity to learn, appreciate, and support these important efforts.