• March 2nd, 2024
  • Saturday, 03:25:55 AM

Colorado to Host Largest U.S. Latino Environmental Festival for the Fifth Year

Denver and its world-renowned Denver Museum of Nature & Science will host the 5th annual Americas Latino Eco Festival (ALEF) from September 15–17, 2017, at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO). ALEF, a Latino-hosted multicultural gathering, elevates the voices of communities of color, women in conservation, and cultural leadership by fostering collaboration to better tackle environmental problems from many angles.

Now in its 5th year, the festival has grown to become the nation’s premier meetup of Latino American environmental minds and a home for artists, scientists, advocates, public policy leaders, and communities from across the Americas committed to advancing a healthy environment, both locally and globally, through arts, education, and engagement of culturally diverse populations.

The three-day event with over 300 presenters and participants reaching an audience of over 10,000, will include an environmental film series, leadership artivism trainings, an eco book fair with authors’ presentations, a green exhibitors hall, a Colorado River summit, an international eco drawing arts Expo, a BioBlitz in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service that will engage more than 400 fourth graders in an interactive biological survey of local surroundings, and a whole day devoted to family-friendly programming including performances, workshops, eco shorts planetarium shows, a mariachis showcase, and much more!

The five thematic pillars of this year’s ALEF include: People and Waters, Restoration and Public Lands, Clean Air and Climate Hope, Food Safety and Sovereignty, and Honoring Our Water Protectors.

ALEF is an initiative of the Colorado-based non-profit Americas for Conservation + the Arts (AFC+A) and is co-presented with GreenLatinos in partnership with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association, Hispanic Access Foundation, and Benitez Strategies.

“This year’s festival is more urgent than ever,” said Irene Vilar, founder of AFC+A and ALEF. “Our gathering comes at a historic moment of unprecedented threats to our communities’ health and to our planet. Now, more than ever, Latinos and communities of color need to raise their voices for the protection of our children’s future, which depends on our Madre Tierra’s own health and the responsible stewardship of her natural resources.”

“The 5th ALEF Festival comes at a pivotal moment for Latino communities, and all who are concerned about the environment and conservation. The looming threat of climate change, water security, deteriorating air and water quality, and increased exposure to toxins and pesticides are critical issues that our communities care about; and with a Congress and Administration hostile to addressing these concerns, our community must come together and cultivate our collective activism to compel action. ALEF is the incubator of that activism,” said Chris Espinosa, Executive Vice President & COO of GreenLatinos.

During ALEF, Homero Aridjis, laurated Mexican poet, environmentalist, journalist, and diplomat will present the English-language publication of María La Monarca/Maria The Monarch, a beautifully illustrated children’s book that seeks to raise awareness for the protection of monarch butterfly habitats and sanctuaries in Mexico.

“We are honored to support this important festival which brings together Latino leadership from around the world. We appreciate the value of working together to understand how we all can be stewards of the environment, in Colorado and across the Americas,” said Carlos Fernandez, Colorado State Director, The Nature Conservancy.

This year’s region of honor is the Colorado River. Its delta restoration efforts in Mexico represents one of the most complex and successful restoration projects in the world, and one of the most inspiring environmental stories in the past 25 years. In making the Colorado River our region of honor, ALEF will convene leaders in partnership with the Hispanic Access Foundation to celebrate the cultural, hydrological, and economic interdependence of Colorado River users from source to sea.