Dear GCF Community,
As Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15/22 – 10/15/22) happens at the same time as recent climate disasters are being endured by frontline communities in places like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, as well as vulnerable communities in Florida, South Carolina and Alaska, it’s important to remember that climate justice solutions are best driven by these communities themselves. While Hispanic and Latine/Latinx communities are disproportionately impacted by climate change, they are also more likely to be concerned and take action, with knowledge of what is best for their own communities.
Five years since the devastation from Hurricane Maria (and effects of Hurricane Irma) that Puerto Rico has still not fully recovered from, Hurricane Fiona has now caused further destruction including loss of access to basic needs such as clean water, electricity and shelter – issues these local communities are still facing weeks later and will continue to face.
Flooding caused by Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico – photograph by Jose Rodriquez for Grist
As we continually work to ensure environmental justice for – with environmental stewardship led by – affected communities like NYCHA, including strong, diverse, and resilient Hispanic and Latine/Latinx GCF community members, we also lift up the work of other Hispanic and Latine/Latinx local drivers of a just transition and community-based environmental justice groups:
We celebrate UPROSE, “an intergenerational, multi-racial, nationally-recognized, women of color led, grassroots organization that promotes sustainability and resiliency through community organizing, education, leadership development and cultural/artistic expression in Brooklyn, NY”; Cuerpo Climatico de Puerto Rico, a local Puerto Rican Climate Corps founded by long time GCF Service Leader Jennifer Tirado-Villanueva; Organización Boricuá, a food sovereignty and environmental conservation nonprofit of Puerto Ricans leading their own just recovery and just transition; and local NY leaders Daphany Rose Sanchez and Kizzy Charles-Guzman, both phenomenal Hispanic/Latine climate justice heroes.
A community-installed “solar forest” for decentralized energy stands in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona – @casapuebloorg / Earth Justice
As local Hispanic leaders continue to work for climate justice and build back from the latest extreme weather events, consider these recommended resources to learn more about and support locally-led, grassroots efforts in Puerto Rico:
- Casa Pueblo
- Taller Salud
- Brigada Solidaria Del Oeste
- Comedores Sociales PR
- Proyecto Matria
Pa’ La Gente!