By Fernanda Canas
On May 19th the Climate Caravan (Caravana Climática) through Latin America arrived to El Salvador. The Climate Caravan is a bus traveling from the north of Mexico all along Latin America in order to arrive to their final destination Lima, Peru where the UN Climate Change Talks (COP 20) will be held in December 2014.The caravan is an action tour that seeks to draw urgent public attention to the climate crisis and also seeks to record the work of grassroots movements in Latin America.
The collective traveling in the caravan aims to support the fights for climate justice that grassroots communities are having in Latin America. They intend to give those fights a voice and make them public all around the world trough videos, photos and documents. This will be done in order to force our governments to sustain greater expectations of action and cooperation within the UN Climate Talks.
El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, and a lot of people tend to forget that it even exists, but even if it is a small country it is greatly hit by climate change. Indeed it is the country with most deforestation in the continent.
The Caravan travelled to the coast of El Salvador, where they met grassroots communities that are resisting the construction of a megaproject for a tourist resort. The megaproject would endanger the mangroves, the environment, and the lives of the communities. The grassroots communities explained what they were fighting against and why. They explained how important mangroves are for their communities: main income source, main food source, and main protection when storms hit. However in the area of The Bajo Lempa, big companies are buying land in order to build resorts: they aim to construct the new Cancun. The construction of those resorts doesn’t mean just deforestation, lost of mangroves, lost of biodiversity but it also leads to violence. Sometimes the people from the communities are being forced to sell their land. The Bajo Lempa communities are defending their lives and the future of the next generations.
The Climate Caravan is another voice for those communities who are fighting for their land and lives. When communities get support from other movements, like the Climate Caravan, they get more empowered.
Now the caravan is in Honduras, continuing their tour “Mesoamerica Resists”, they are supporting communities, that like communities in El Salvado are demanding climate justice and respect for their lives.
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