A Reflection on the Intersection of Climate Week and Hispanic Heritage Month

September 25, 2023

By Javier Puig, Senior Analyst, Commercial

I remember the devastating effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on Puerto Rico. (Stronger, larger and life-threatening hurricanes have become increasingly common in the Atlantic due to rising sea temperatures.) Irma and Maria left the island completely isolated, and my grandparents were left without water, power or any way to communicate with others. Resources on the island were limited and unable to reach many residents outside of the capital city of San Juan. Major flooding covered roads and bridges, leaving small towns completely remote. Despite all this, Puerto Ricans persevered. Their deep-rooted culture of helping one another was evident in this time of crisis – each person sharing what little they had to ensure no one was left with nothing. 

Reflecting both on Climate Week and the onset of Hispanic Heritage Month, my thoughts are full of both worry and hope. The state of our Earth is codependent on the prosperity and culture of the Latino/a/x community, and the sense of togetherness, family and perseverance that this community holds as its values.

That is what this month is all about. Hispanic Heritage Month reminds each and every Aledader how we can serve others, especially those who are less fortunate or disproportionately affected by what is oftentimes outside of their own control. At Aledade, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has deep roots in the community of the company, with a shared vision and commitment to make change in the world for all future generations. The climate affects us all, but more often than not, it has an unequal effect on those who are disadvantaged. For example, more than 55% of Latino-Americans live in three U.S. states – Texas, California and Florida – that are already feeling the devastating effects of climate change and about eight-in-ten U.S. Hispanics (81%) say addressing global climate change is either a top concern or one of several important concerns to them personally.

Aledade’s mission is at the heart of each and every employee, and the ability to do good for patients, good for practices and good for society is evident within the company’s employee resource groups (ERGs). Being one of the leads for the CCC and a member of multiple other ERGs (like the Latinx ERG), I have the unique opportunity to live my authentic life and work towards enacting change. Whether it is by inviting guest speakers to address health inequities caused by climate change, or hosting a roundtable of employees to discuss their personal sustainability efforts, the CCC has “doing good for society” at its core.

I feel empowered and hopeful that if we are all able to communicate and internalize and be inspired by the values of the Latino/Hispanic community, we can come together to protect our environment, provide aid to those who need it and take action towards a more sustainable, healthier future for all communities.