Throughout our country’s history, Latinos and Hispanics have contributed to our land and to our quality of life. Latinos like Eugenio Maria de Hostos, Cesar Chavez, and Dolores Huerta ignited our civil rights movement promoting freedom and equality to Latinos not only here on the mainland but also around the world. Here in Florida, in 1822, Joseph Marion Hernandez was elected as the first Latino in history to serve as a representative in the U.S. Congress. The Latino community has always been present and working hard to improve our lives and the lives of others.
However, our community has been historically marginalized and ignored. Latino communities, as well as Black and Indigenous communities, are constantly facing environmental injustices due to the lack of resources, attention, and consideration from our government and leaders. According to the U.S. Census, Latinos in Florida make up approximately 26% of the state’s population. Let me say this again – we are a quarter of the population in one of the most powerful electoral states in the U.S. Do you know what this means? We as a community can change our situation if we act – we are visible even if society tries to put us down or ignore us.
Hispanic Heritage Month is not only a celebration of our cultures – it’s an opportunity to show the world that we are visible and we matter! Our community and our voices matter every day, not only today or this month. Florida Conservation Voters fights for all of Florida’s communities, especially our Latino and Hispanic communities, which is why we will be celebrating and lifting not only our cultures but also our leaders that spearhead the social and environmental justice movement. Each week we will have a theme important to us as a community, so please stay tuned!
¡Adelante, siempre adelante!