13th July 2024

Many Latino communities have a longstanding custom of conserving power and sources deeply rooted of their tradition. Latino leaders throughout the state of Oregon are safeguarding the planet for future generations and preserving their cultural and environmental legacies.  

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re spotlighting a few of these wonderful leaders and their work.  

Changemaker: Rosa Martinez is paving the way in which for different Latino-owned companies within the building trade. Martinez has helped degree the enjoying area by founding LatinoBuilt, an area commerce affiliation whose mission is to handle inequalities throughout the trade by enhancing the alternatives in building for Latino-owned companies in Oregon. Be taught extra about Martinez’s story and the way she assists differents in a historically male-dominated trade. 

Photo voltaic Ambassador: Maria Dolores Torres is making photo voltaic power extra accessible for underserved communities. Torres is the Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator for Adelante Mujeres, a corporation devoted to empowering Latinas and their households. She represents one in all seven community-based organizations educating and growing new methods to convey the advantages of photo voltaic power to communities of colour by way of the Photo voltaic Ambassador pilot program. Be taught extra about Torres and the Photo voltaic Ambassadors’ objective of connecting extra Oregonians to scrub, renewable power. 

Changemaker: Ernesto Fonseca of Hacienda Group Growth Company addresses how power effectivity can create more healthy houses. Primarily based in Northeast Portland, Hacienda CDC gives reasonably priced housing, homeownership assist, financial and academic alternatives to Latino, Black, Indigenous, immigrant and low-income households most liable to displacement. Be taught extra about Fonseca and Hacienda CDC’s mission and the ability of wholesome houses. 

Changemaker: Karla Flores Jaime is paying it ahead by supporting Hispanic engineers. Flores Jaime is a mechanical engineer at SSOE Group, an structure and engineering agency that designs manufacturing amenities for the automotive, pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries. She additionally serves because the Society of Hispanic Skilled Engineers (SHPE) Oregon Skilled Chapter’s president. The chapter hosts workshops and occasions that assist skilled and private improvement. Be taught extra about Flores Jaime’s expertise as a Latina engineer and involvement in SHPE.

In keeping with the U.S. Environmental Safety Company (EPA), U.S. Latinos usually tend to undergo the results of utmost climate occasions like warmth waves and floods and are usually extra involved about these points than non-Latino communities. Additionally, in accordance with a examine by the American Council for an Power-Environment friendly Financial system (ACEEE), Latino households spend, on common, 20% extra of their earnings on power prices in comparison with non-Hispanic white households. 

These statistics spotlight the significance of supporting the voices of Oregon’s Latino leaders who empower neighborhood members to undertake and keep environment friendly power sources and behaviors – and enhance their high quality of life in doing so.  

Power Belief presents assist for neighborhood leaders by way of grants, sources and collaborative alternatives to co-create applications that cater to the wants of Latino neighborhood members throughout the state. From March 2022 to January 2023, Power Belief distributed $10okay in Working Collectively Grants to 21 non-profit organizations, together with LatinoBuilt and Hacienda CDC, aimed toward serving to numerous prospects and communities save power and undertake clear, renewable power sources. Power Belief has additionally partnered with organizations like LatinoBuilt and Adelante Mujeres to develop personalized applications and enhance entry to energy-efficient home equipment, akin to ductless warmth pumps. 

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