There is a misconception in the United States, that for Latinos in our country, and people in Latin America, environmental issues are not a priority. Latinos care deeply about the environment, and what impact our actions have on our Mother Earth. This point was never as clear to me as on my recent trip to Argentina.
En un reciente viaje a acampar en la región de Big Sur de California, me sentí abrumado por cuántos otros campistas estaban ahí en el medio de la naturaleza. A lo largo de la orilla del río, por lo menos dos docenas de tiendas fueron instaladas, algunas en las laderas de la montaña, y otras en zonas de inundación. Todos estaban allí con un pensamiento en mente - para divertirse. Aún en este estado, nadie se detuvo a considerar las consecuencias de sus acciones:
On a recent camping trip to California's Big Sur region, I was overwhelmed by how many other campers were out there in the middle of the wilderness. Along the river bank, at least two dozen tents were set up, some on hillsides, others in flash flood zones. Everyone was there with one thought in mind - to have fun. Yet in this state, no one stopped to consider the consequences of their actions:
Unconventional oil and gas extraction – colloquially referred to as fracking – is set expand and take over Argentina, which has some of the largest reserves of shale oil and gas in the world. The Argentinian government is providing incentives to attract international fossil fuel companies to drill there. Given that the country recently defaulted on some of its restructured debt, a push for development will likely only intensify in the coming months. Under-regulated and under-monitored fracking, however, has already led to a series of environmental and health issues in the U.S. and beyond.
In this town in resource-rich Patagonia, the government passed a law in 2006 that would imposed a three-year moratorium on mining activity in the region, forcing Meridian Gold Inc. (and subsequently Yamana Gold, headquartered in Toronto) to halt a proposed open-pit gold mine 7 kilometers upstream from Esquel (population approximately 30,000) Today, the natural beauty of the Esquel region attracts tourists, fishermen, and biologists from around the world.