Clean Buses for Healthy Niños: María’s Story

Juan Perez Saez, organizing manager of Protégete

Maria grew up in Los Angeles, but after her two children were born, she realized that the air quality in California wasn’t the best and that living close to the local oil refinery meant they were breathing dirty air. She thought that this environmental problem was something she should do something about.

Raising two children–Evan and Jay–on her own hasn’t been easy but she decided to move to Colorado, a state known for its mountains, its green forests and the abundance of public land and protected areas. In search of a better quality of life, María and her children made the move just as her son Jay was developing asthma problems. María found a house in a neighborhood that she could afford but soon after the move, Jay’s asthma got worse. She wondered how his health problems could possibly be deteriorating. To her surprise, she discovered that their new zip code, 80239, was right next to the most polluted zip code in the United States, a community populated almost in its entirety by Latinos, immigrants and people of color.

Maria found herself face-to-face with the challenges of raising children in a healthy environment, seeking access to the same quality of life that any child in Colorado should have. But Evan and Jay are stuck breathing air that can hurt them.

This doesn’t have to be Evan and Jay’s reality, and we can do something about it. Here’s one way you can make a difference: Get involved in our “clean bus campaign” and sign the petition to increase the number of electric buses in the Denver School District. Together, we can reduce emissions from buses, and improve the air in zip-codes like 80239. Our niños deserve it.

Find out more about the push for electric buses, here: www.cleanride4kids.org.

LCV’s Chispa works together with our state league partner, Conservation Colorado, via Protégete to act on local environmental issues facing Latino communities. 

*Banner photo credit: Steven Buss Flickr

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