The Truth is Powerful

Latino Conservation Week on Chicago’s Southeast Side

Co-authored with Kyler Sumter

Southeast Sider Luis Cabrales is fighting to deconstruct colonial thinking about nature and empower other Latinx youth to work in conservation. Luis Cabrales in Big Marsh Park on Chicago’s Southeast Side This Latino Conservation Week, Luis Cabrales is reminding himself that enjoying nature is an act of resistance too.

Hailing from Chicago’s Southeast Side, the 23-year-old conservationist has seen his fair share of environmentally racist policies that have had a negative impact on his majority Latinx community. From manganese contamination to air pollution from nearby factories, there has never been a shortage of offenses to protest in his neighborhood. But Luis knows that enjoying nature as a young Latino conservationist is a part of the fight too.

Today, he’s a natural areas worker at Big Marsh Bike Park on the Southeast side, where he’s grateful for the sense of community his work brings. But it was in his own backyard that his love of conservation blossomed. When Luis was young, his family grew their own vegetable garden where he would take care of the cucumbers and harvest the tomatoes. View from a trail in Big Marsh “This work has been in my blood for a really long […]

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