Congratulations to Americas Latino Eco Festival (ALEF) for an inspirational, thought-provoking and action-oriented three days in Denver October 15-17. Now in its third year, this year’s installment brought together Latino leaders and advocates from conservation, the arts, policy, science, education, business and more, with a clear call for climate action. Irene Vilar, founder of the festival and its parent organization Americas for Conservation & the Arts, captured the spirit and motivations of the event in comments to the press in the days leading up to the festival. “We are excited that so many advocates are coming together for this event. From the Pope’s visit to the U.S., to the international climate talks in Paris this December, there is momentum and energy building around the world to solve one of the biggest challenges of our time: climate change. America’s Latino Eco Festival will ensure that the voices of Latinos are well represented in the search for solutions.”
This year’s festival involved over 400 presenters and advocates during three days of presentations, workshops and celebrations at three venues in downtown Denver: Metro State University, Denver Art Museum and Denver Public Library. IUCN Bonn Challenge and Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador Bianca Jagger, world-renowned Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal, Emmy Award winning Telemundo correspondent Vanessa Hauc, environmental leader and former Mexico Ambassador to Unesco Homero Aridjis, 2013 Goldman Prize winner Kimberly Wasserman, and six-time Mt. Everest summiteer Luis Benitez were among the many Latino leaders who brought their distinct experience and perspective to the festival.
Resource Media was proud to play a small part in helping bring attention to the festival, and you can see some of the coverage and storytelling around the festival on this scoop.it page. Latin Life Denver also has several galleries of wonderful photos from the festival to explore. And I’ll sign off with some commentary from the staff at Boulder Weekly, which captures my own motivations for pitching in on this important event:
“The conversation around environmental justice has been whitewashed, to say the least. And this, quite simply, must end.
So we can’t overstate the importance of a conference like ALEF, where celebrities, artists, scientists, religious figures and community and public policy leaders join together to inspire this nation’s diverse Latino communities to take an active role in “browning” the conservation movement.
We encourage you, no matter the color of your skin, to support a new, integrated era in environmental conservation by attending some of the amazing panels, exhibits and training sessions that the dedicated ALEF team has put together this year. We have taken the time to highlight just a tiny fraction of the events at this year’s festival, but we can assure you: there’s nothing you want to miss.“