A decade ago, while working in Washington, D.C., as an environmental activist, Mark Magaña realized that Latinos in the environmental movement were isolated.

Magaña: “What I noticed was that they weren’t working together. That they weren’t creating their own family of advocates that would go to the Hill together or that would, you know, have a drink together or cry together if they lost and celebrate if they won. There wasn’t really a sense of family and people were starting to depart the movement because they just didn’t feel like they were being listened to.”

So four years ago, Magaña founded a nonprofit called GreenLatinos. It’s essentially a network for Latino environmental leaders. The group provides support and connects grassroots groups with larger organizations and key decision- and policy-makers.

For example, when a member from Puerto Rico wrote to GreenLatinos about toxic landfills, Magaña’s group organized a visit that brought national attention to the issue and led to the closure of several landfills.

As the percentage of Latinos in the U.S. population grows, GreenLatinos has an important job – connecting Latino environmental groups to policymakers and to each other.

Reporting credit: Justyna Bicz/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Courtesy of GreenLatinos.

Eileen Mignoni

Eileen Mignoni is a South Florida-based visual journalist who has been working on stories about science, the environment, and energy for nearly 10 years. In addition to her work at Yale Climate Connections,...