Diesel trucks, power plants, and refineries contribute to global warming. They also emit air pollution that’s linked to respiratory illnesses and cancer.

Columba Sainz of Phoenix, Arizona, says Latino communities are disproportionately burdened.

Sainz: “… because we live near the freeway, we live by construction, and we live by industrial zones, because those areas tend to be a lot cheaper than other areas.”

Yet Latinos are often under-represented in the environmental movement.

Sainz: “People don’t go out and speak about these issues because they believe there’s no other way than just be silent.”

'People don't go out and speak about these issues because they believe there's no other way than just be silent.' Click To Tweet

In an attempt to change that, Sainz works with Ecomadres, a partnership between the nonprofits Mom’s Clean Air Force and Green Latinos.

She organizes get-togethers for Latina moms, where they learn about air quality, pollution, and climate change.

The program is designed to empower women to speak out – for example, by demanding regulations that can improve air quality in their communities.

Sainz: “What makes me proud is knowing that I’m talking to concerned moms and that they’re really going to make a difference on their children’s lives.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
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Topics: Health