The Americas Latino Eco Festival is the nation’s premier, public meet up of Latino American environmental minds and a multicultural gathering place for artists, scientists, advocates, public policy leaders and community from across the Americas to discuss novel solutions to advance a healthy environment, locally and globally, through arts advocacy, education, and engagement of culturally diverse populations.This exciting festival with over 500 presenters and participants, and an audience of over 5,000 has something for everyone! 

The three-day event will include an environmental film series, leadership artivism trainings, an eco book fair with authors’ presentations, a green exhibitors hall, a Colorado River summit, an international eco drawing arts Expo, a BioBlitz in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service that will engage more than 400 fourth graders in an interactive biological survey of local surroundings, and a whole day devoted to family-friendly events including performances, workshops, eco shorts planetarium shows, a mariachis showcase and much more.

ALEF2017: People & Waters First: Ripples of Hope

The five thematic pillars of this year’s ALEF include: People and Waters, Restoration and Public Lands, Clean Air and Climate Hope, Food Safety and Sovereignty, and Honoring Our Water Protectors

Region of Honor: Colorado River 

Country of Honor: Cuba

ALEF is an initiative of Americas for Conservation + the Arts (AFC+A) and is co-presented with GreenLatinos in partnership with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association, and Benitez Strategies.

Summit [clear filter]
Friday, September 15

9:00am MDT

Colorado River Summit: A Source to See Vision
Limited Capacity seats available

8:00am - 8:45am

8:50am - 9:00am
Opening Ceremonies Blessing by Eutimia Cruz Montoya, a healer, scholar, lector and artist. Performances by Franklin Cruz doing performance poetry and live art by Marissa Degolier 

9:00am - 9:15am
Welcome Remarks
Jorge Figueroa 
(Senior Water Policy Analyst, Western Resources Advocates) 

Opening Speeches

Jerry Tinianow (
Chief Sustenaibility Officer, Mayors Office, City of Denver); Jennifer Riley-Chetwynd (Co-Director, OWOW/Denver Botanic Gardens); Carlos Fernández (Director The Nature Conservancy Colorado)

9:20am - 9:30am
Keynote: Maite Arce (Director, Hispanic Acces Fundation)

9:30am - 11:00am 

Opening Performance: Traditional Cocopah-MX Songs, Pedro Buitimea Chan

A Source to Sea Vision of the Colorado River, Part 1:
Tribal Sister Nations, Past and Present 
From the Upper Basin to the Delta, the Ten Tribes Partnership is forging a new and powerful story of collaboration in the management and protection of the Colorado River from source to sea. Representatives from some of the sister nations that make the Ten Tribes Partnership will share their vision of the past, present, and future of the Colorado River and its people.

Introduction: Nita Gonzalez, Nuestro Rio/Escuela Tlatelolco

Music: Pedro Buitimea Chan,Traditional Cocopah-Mexico Singer and Youth Leader
Moderator: Darryl Vigil, Water Administrator at Jicarilla-Apache Nation; former chair, Ten Tribes Partnership. Panelists: Representatives of Ten Tribes Partnership

11:10am - 11:50am
River Stories: Art, Music and History 
The Colorado River has produced a rich and vast cultural heritage manifested in music, art, and history. This session will explore culture as an integral part of the living, natural history of the Colorado River.

Moderator: Jorge Figueroa.  Panelists: Alicia Hinojosa; Jaime Chavez; Federico Iglesias Serafín; Pedro Buitimea Chan 

12:00pm – 1:00pm
Lunch & Keynote Plenary (PRIVATE)

1:10 PM – 1:50 PM
Voices of the Colorado River 
The Colorado River is important to Latinos—it is the lifeblood that weaves, connects, and sustains our food, economies, faith, and traditions. Prominent Latino leaders share their different perspectives on the importance of protecting the Colorado River. 

Moderator: Maite Arce. Panelists: Nita Gonzalez, Nuestro Rio MemberRudy Arredondo, National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Association; 

Pastora Helia Martinez, 

Por La Creacion Faith Based AllianceSan Luis, AZ; Olga Gonzalez, Farmworker, Yuma, AZ

 2:00pm – 2:40pm Securing Our Legacy: 

Climate Change, Water, and Resilient Communities 
Many studies indicate that the Colorado River Basin will be the ground-zero for the impacts of climate change and drought in the US. This session will cover both the significant challenges that our communities are facing from climate change, and some solutions to address these.

Moderator: Michael Cohen, Pacific Institute. Panelists: Michelle Gabrieloff-Parish Director, CU Boulder Energy & Climate Justice Environmental Center; Eric Balken, Executive Director, Glen Canyon Institute; Marina Barragan, Sierra Club California

2:50pm - 3:30pm
A Source to Sea Vision of the Colorado River, Part 2: Municipal River Sisters Initiative. 
The restoration of the Colorado River can be vital for the economic development and quality of life of Citizens of the River on both sides of the border. The River Sisters initiative aims to reconnect urban Colorado River water users to the River by celebrating and raising awareness of their hydrological, social, and economic interdependencies. 

Moderator: Jennifer Riley-Chetwynd, Co-Director, OWOW/Denver Botanic Gardens. Panelists: Nancy Saldaña, Civic Leader and Urban Planner, San Luis Rio Colorado; Paul Cawood Hellmund, Instructor (Sustainability), Colorado State University

3:40pm – 5:00pm 
A Source to Sea Vision of the Colorado River, Part 3: Restoring and Protecting the Ecosystems of the Colorado River  
The ecological restoration of Colorado River’s ecosystems represents some of the most complex big river restoration projects in the world—and its Delta restoration efforts one of the most inspiring environmental stories in the past 25 years. Yet more often than not, decision-makers and Colorado River restoration advocates and practitioners don’t have a deep and holistic Source to Sea perspective towards the River. This session brings together the leading figures restoring the Colorado River from its source to its delta to share their work and perspectives for the future within the context of a Source to Sea vision of the River.  

Moderator: Jennifer Pitt, Director, Colorado River Program, National Audubon Society. Panelists: Carlos Fernandez, Colorado State Director, The Nature Conservancy (TNC); Osvel Hinojosa, Director, Water and Wetlands Program, Pronatura Noroeste; Francisco Zamora, Director, Colorado River Delta Program, Sonoran Institute; Dr. Jorge Ramirez, Autonomous University of Baja California; Meg White, The Nature Cosnervancy-Colorado. 

Closing Blessing by Water Protector Helga Garza, Albuquerque NM

Friday September 15, 2017 9:00am - 5:00pm MDT
Ricketson Auditorium in the DMNS
Saturday, September 16

9:00am MDT

#GreenLatinos Learning Lab Summit in Five Parts: Priorities, Lessons, WaterIsLife, Protectors Ceremony, Raising Our Voices
GreenLatinos Learning Lab Summit in Five Parts: Priorities, Lessons from the Frontline, #WaterIsLife Homage, Protectors Ceremony, Raising our Voices through Strategic Storytelling & Artivism KEYNOTE: JUAN PARRAS: #AJustHarveyRecovery (T.E.J.A.S) DONT MISS THE VERY SPECIAL Nuestro Hermano Award Ceremony with Chairman Dave Archambault & Nuestros Dreamers, Standing Rock AND the Guardians of Life Sculptures Inauguration Ceremony of Alfonso Piloto Nieves Twelve Women Earth Protectors of the Americas 
Midy Aponte, Master of Ceremony & Afternoon Part 5 Workshop Leader Aura Vasquez, Moderator Part 2 & 3 Mark Magana, Moderator Part 1 & Part 4 Marissa Ahern Chairman Archambault Award Part 4 Felipe Benitez, Nuestros Dreamers Awards Part 4 

avatar for Midy Aponte

Midy Aponte

Vice President, Spitfire Strategies
Based in Denver, CO, Midy’s portfolio at Spitfire addresses domestic public education reform, equity and multiculturalism in the U.S., and advocacy for Internet freedom through civil society organizations in Latin America and Africa with clients such as The New Teacher Center, The... Read More →
avatar for Aura Vasquez

Aura Vasquez

Climate Justice Director, The Center for Popular Democracy


Saturday September 16, 2017 9:00am - 5:00pm MDT
Ricketson Auditorium in the DMNS
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