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Empowering agents of change by integrating education, art, and environmental advocacy

Dear Colegas,


We are extremely grateful for the support Americas for Conservation + the Arts (AFC+A) has received since 2008, helping us grow into the organization that we are today: One of the very few Latina founded and led organizations of its mission and size in the state of Colorado — and the country — fighting systemic racism in the conservation and creative workspaces, leveraging arts and culture for DEI gains.


We do this through three award winning flagship programs : 


  • The Promotores Verdes conservation corps (growing outdoor recreation led climate literacy and human-nature health connections) co leading the Tree Keepers 2022-2025 initiative with the City of Denver

  • The Americas Latino Eco Festival (movement building convening of BIPOC conservation and creative leadership), now in its 13th edition.

  • Mandel Vilar Press (advancing diversity and conservation in the book economy), releasing its 50th this spring of 2023. 


AFC+A’s programs address and lead solutions for BOTH of these breakdowns in equity and inclusion:


  • BIPOC citizens make up close 40% of the US population but only 8% of environmental organizations (Green 2.0 Report)

  • Less than 1% of what the average US citizen reads is from a book in translation vis a vis most of the social democracies of Europe which are reading above 33% in translation. Only 4% of what is being published in the United States is from a minority voice/writer (UNESCO Translation Index)


A healthy democracy cannot thrive when inequity of this magnitude prevails.


As we enter our 15th year, having received five awards for our environmental and cultural work as well as eighteen book awards for our press and its two recently acquired imprints (Moment Books & Fig Tree Books), we feel inspired to continue to safeguard this threatened and most fragile ecosystem of a diverse grassroots non-profit sector. I invite you to read this end of the year reflection of my own thirty years of striving for that place where we may all equally belong to, a place of reciprocity, of mutuality, and shared responsibility in the service of our common good. It’s deeply personal but I hope it can contribute to the kind of introspective and intimate understanding systems change desperately needs.


No matter the adversities, we will continue to elevate in particular the voices of BIPOC conservation and cultural promotores, fostering collaboration to better bridge inclusion gaps and assure those sitting at the decision-making table regarding the stewardship of our natural resources and cultural assets needed for advancing climate ready and resilient communities reflect equity and inclusion.


We at AFC+A wholeheartedly believe that advancing diversity is one the most important conservation strategies we can nurture. 


Please, visit our Colorado Gives Day page and consider joining our efforts. Our work would not be possible without you. 


Onward & with gratitude,

Irene Vilar

2020 AFC+A Resilient Programs Report


All communities must have equal access to education and a healthy environment. Arts grow and sustain healthy communities and social justice. Intersectionality is the foundation for transformational change.


Todas las comunidades deben tener el mismo acceso a la educación y a un ambiente saludable. Las artes crecen y sostienen comunidades saludables y justicia social. La interseccionalidad es la base del cambio transformacional.



  • JUSTICEdemands equality of opportunity.

  • RESILIENCEovercomes adversity.

  • INCLUSIVENESS, advances justice.

  • COLLABORATION, powers intersectionality.

  • INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS, grow resilience and transformational change.

  • AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP, speaks Jemez Principles.

  • EMPOWERMENT, stems from all our Core Values-

  • JUSTICIAexige la igualdad de oportunidades.

  • RESILIENCIAsupera la adversidad.

  • INCLUSIVIDAD, avanza la justicia.

  • COLABORACIÓN, potencia interseccionalidad.

  • SOLUCIONES INNOVADORAS, aumentar la resiliencia y cambio transformacional.

  • LIDERAZGO AUTÉNTICO, habla los principios de Jemez

  • EMPODERAMIENTO, proviene de todos nuestros Valores Fundamentales.


We bring our whole selves to build creative, integrative solutions that enhance your network and achieve real cultural and ecological outcomes.

Brindamos todo nuestro ser para crear soluciones creativas e integradoras para mejorar su red y lograr resultados culturales y ecológicos reales.


If you are not ready to be pushed beyond your comfort zone, don't work with AFC+A. If you are willing to take a leap, this work will be some of the most rewarding and impactful you will ever experience.

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The Latino community in the US is suffering the brunt of the effects of air pollution and climate change. Statistics show Latinos are at the forefront of the climate crisis and are disproportionately impacted by climate change related issues:

  • Of the top 10 most polluted cities in the nation, six count Latinos as 40 percent or more of their populations

  • 66% Latinos live in areas that fall below the EPA's air quality safety standards--and 72% in Colorado

  • Hispanic children are 60 percent more likely to have asthma as compared to non-Latino whites

  •  Latinos are 30% more likely to visit a hospital due to asthma compared to non-Latino Whites 

  • Latinos are three times as likely to die of asthma

  • Latinos represent the highest uninsured rates of any racial/ethnic group in the US.2 In 2012, 30% of Hispanics were reported as uninsured, compared to 10.4% of non-Latino Whites

  •  1 in 5 Latino adults are unable to pay for asthma medicines, furthering the disproportionate impacts of air pollution 

  •  Spatial patterns in environmental injustice and inequality for residential outdoor nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations in the US show NO2 concentrations are 40% higher for nonwhites than for whites.


Did you know that Americas for Conservation + the Arts is working on 16 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals?

What are the Sustainable development goals?
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.


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