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Source: Xiye Bastida, Jamie Margolin

The Young Latinx and Hispanic Climate Leaders Changing the World

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From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, we are celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month, a 30-day period dedicated to honoring the contributions and culture that Hispanic and Latinx Americans have shared with society — though we think it's important to honor the Hispanic and Latinx communities every day of the year.

There are numerous incredible Latinx and Hispanic activists in the climate movement, who all use their platforms to advocate for intersectional climate justice. Read on for a list of nine amazing young Latinx and Hispanic climate activists who are leading the climate movement, whether they’re doing so via online education, in-person strikes, or speeches that gain the attention of world leaders.

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Alexandria Villaseñor

Alexandria Villaseñor is a 15-year-old Latina climate justice activist. She grew up in California — where the smoke from the Camp Fire made her ill, which introduced her to the horrors of the climate crisis — and has spent the last few years living in New York City, where she strikes outside New York’s UN headquarters every Friday.

Villaseñor also co-founded Earth Uprising, she spoke at the 2020 DNC, and she contributed an essay to the book All We Can Save, a book of essays and poems by more than 40 women leading the climate movement. She often uses her online platform to advocate for intersectionality in the fight for climate justice.

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Diandra Marizet

Diandra Marizet is a Mexican American climate activist based in Houston, Texas, with a degree from Texas A&M University. During the summer of 2020, Marizet co-founded Intersectional Environmentalist, a platform that advocates for intersectionality in the climate justice movement by providing educational resources, action steps, online communities, and more. 

Marizet currently works as a brand strategy director for a nonprofit, and she previously worked in the fashion industry, so her website is a great resource for learning about zero-waste and sustainable fashion and personal care.

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Jamie Margolin

Jamie Margolin, 18, is a Colombian and Jewish climate justice activist, known for co-founding Zero Hour, an intersectional youth climate activism movement, and for writing the book Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It, which features a foreword by Greta Thunberg. Margolin uses her platform to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, racial justice, politics, and more, as well as the intersection of these issues with climate issues. She is currently a Film and Television student at NYU.

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Xiye Bastida

Xiye Bastida, 18, is a Mexican-Chilean climate justice activist, with roots in the indigenous Mexican Otomi-Toltec nation. Originally raised in Mexico, Bastida spent her high school years in New York City, where she is known as a lead organizer for Fridays for Future. Now, she is a student at the University of Pennsylvania, a co-founder of the Re-Earth Initiative, and she recently gave a TED Talk about her journey to becoming a climate leader. She also contributed an essay to the recent book All We Can Save.

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Yessenia Funes

Yessenia Funes is a New York-based journalist with Salvadoran roots, who primarily covers the intersection of race and climate issues. She currently writes about environmental justice for the publication Atmos, she previously wrote for Earther, and she also gives speeches about environmental justice. 

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Isaias Hernandez

Better known as Queer Brown Vegan, Isaias Hernandez is a California-based environmentalist who provides readers of his Instagram page and website with easy-to-understand explainers about the climate crisis and other justice-related issues. He is also a co-founder of Alluvia Magazine, which amplifies BIPOC voices in the environmental movement.

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Jessica Schoech

Jessica Schoech (aka Jessica Shay) is the founder of Vegan Street Fair, a recurring food festival in LA’s North Hollywood that welcomes guests of every race, religion, ability, etc. to its epic events. Schoech uses both her personal Instagram and Vegan Street Fair’s Instagram pages to speak up about various forms of social injustice, including oppression against the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, and animals. She has also publicly discussed accessibility in the vegan community.

And of course, Vegan Street Fair’s feed is filled with photos and videos of the most mouth-watering vegan food you’ve ever seen.

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Jade Lozada

Jade Lozada is a Dominican and Puerto Rican student at Harvard University, who grew up in New York City. Lozada serves as the Policy Director at TREEage, a youth organization that demands elected officials in New York pass climate legislation that “prioritizes communities over profit and power.”

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Keyra Juliana Espinoza

Keyra Juliana Espinoza, 18, is an Ecuadorian-American climate activist who grew up in New York City, and is currently studying at the University of Miami. Espinoza works with Polluters Out and El Cambio en Ecuador, and she uses her platform to advocate for BIPOC rights and the environment.

“My motherland Ecuador doesn't really get much attention when it comes to the impact the climate crisis has on vulnerable communities and there is very little education [or] action being taken even within the country,” Esponiza told Green Matters in an interview earlier this year. “People should care about protecting the planet because they should put themselves in the shoes of the persecuted, of the silenced, of the defenders and realize that they are also human like us, we are humans that empathize when others are hurt and suffering.”

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