A 2021 survey by the Pew Research Center shows that Latinos are more concerned than other communities about the harm caused by environmental issues.
We spoke with Ylenia Aguilar, director of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, about Hispanic environmental concerns and their participation in solving these problems. Nubia Enriquez, director of communications for Chispa Arizona, the League of Conservation Voters, also weighs in on the discussion.
According to the survey, about 71% of Hispanics feel there is too much trash, waste, and landfill, which is 12 points higher than non-Hispanics, and about 71% of Hispanics are concerned about water pollution. compared to 57% of people in other regions who are concerned about water pollution. community.
“I don’t think that’s new information,” Aguilar said. “I don’t think it’s talked about enough. Our families and communities are very responsible in their water use. Those of us who come from immigrant and indigenous backgrounds have to take care of the earth. We know that we cannot. That is the belief of our ancestors,” Aguilar said.
“The Latino community is the group that cares the most about the environment, which is why this program was started by the League of Conservation Voters,” Enriquez said. “And we also know that we are on the front lines of the climate crisis. The people most affected by climate change are Latinx communities, communities of color, and low-income communities. We are definitely more likely to live in areas with waste, and this is systemic.”
“Some of our family members work in the fields and we know where our food comes from, so we are more likely to protect it and the planet. [be] I know what’s going on,” Aguilar said.
Enriquez said Latinos are already environmental leaders, but they need a seat at the table when it comes to addressing environmental issues.
“Our members (CHISPA) are already connected to the land. Our members come from places where they had to cultivate the land, for example. Getting people interested is a big thing for us. It’s not about glamor,” Enriquez said. “We’re just creating a space where people can participate in things that they’re already interested in from a policy and politics standpoint.”
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