Cándida's Speech at ELA

Versión en español aqui

On November 15th at our annual Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner, the 2016 Class of Environmental Justice and Action Promotores was awarded with the 2017 John V. Kabler Memorial Award. Cándida García, one of the Promotoras, addressed the crowd with the following speech:

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On behalf of Promotora's first class, I want to thank the Maryland League of Conservation Voters for this special award.Before starting I would like the rest of the promoters who are present to stand up and give them a big round of applause.

My name is Candida Garcia. I am from Honduras and I have lived in this country for 12 years. I am accompanied by my friend Edith Morejón, who is originally from El Salvador. We are both Promotoras and we are parent leaders at the Rosa Parks School in Hyattsville.

I want to thank Chispa for this wonderful opportunity to be an environmental Promotora and for giving us the tools to fight for our communities.

Like many parents in my community, we feel the effects of climate change and pollution. Every day I talk to parents and we realize that many of the children have respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, among others. I even had an experience with my son with asthma. And this is why today I am in this fight.

As a Chispa Promotora we have had the opportunity to create educational workshops in our schools. To create opportunities for other parents to get involved in the environment. We have gone to knock on doors to talk about what we do in Chispa. We marched in April at the People’s Climate March and represented to the section of Creators of Sanctuary. Edith and I even worked with Chispa to graduate the second class of Promotoras this past summer.

If we show something with our work, it is that our communities care about the environment. Because it's about our health. It's about surviving and making sure we leave our children a planet where they can breathe clean air. We want to leave to the generations that come a planet healthy and free of pollution.

We want to be part of the solutions and protect our mother earth.

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Chispa, meaning “spark” in Spanish, is a program launched by Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund in 2014. Chispa Maryland works to ensure that Maryland Latino families and community leaders are a powerful voice for protecting our air, land, water, public health, and future. Chispa Maryland works with Latino families, community groups, faith-based organizations, and elected officials to identify and address unique environmental issues facing Latino communities in Maryland.