When Ana Langarica’s youngest son Alan saw his dad dump used motor oil on to the dirt patch outside his mechanic shop he immediately sprang in to action. He ran for the shovel and started digging up the patch of now-wet dirt before the oil could spread any further. Ana watched in awe as her young son meticulously cleaned up the mess, dumped the soil in an oil drum, and reprimanded his father for polluting. For Ana, it was a reminder that her children had learned just as much from their participation with the Environmental Health Coalition as she had.
For 14 years, Ana has participated in the Colectivo Salud y Justicia Ambiental, EHC’s Community Action Team in Colonia Chilpancingo, Tijuana. Ana was one of the many community residents who advocated alongside EHC for the cleanup of Metales y Derivados, an abandoned battery recycling facility in Tijuana. The decade-long efforts of EHC and the community resulted in a landmark bi-national cleanup of the contaminated soil. As Ana watched her son dig up the soil near her husband’s shop, she couldn’t help but think of her work on the Metales y Derivados project and feel immense pride.
For Ana, environmental justice is a family affair. Ana has recruited her sons, nephews, and sisters to participate in Colectivo meetings and activities.
“Since my youngest son was little, he has been with us in the creek cleanups and in the community tours. He is very conscious about environmental issues.”
In 40 years, EHC has worked alongside families like Ana’s to achieve healthier homes and communities. And in the 40 years to come, it’s leaders like Ana’s sons who will carry on our fight for environmental justice.