A Look at the Amazon – Issue 69

August 23-29, 2019
Edition 69

Minnesota Latinx Insights

This Weekly Newsletter shares local and national trends and events of interest to the Latinx community and those who feel Latinx.

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Minnesota United FC

A Look at the Amazon

A few weeks ago, the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) released a study which found that deforestation in the Amazon grew by 278 percent in July alone. This news came at a time when Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro had relaxed protections on the Amazon in what some had called an assault. Just hours after taking office, Bolsonaro transferred control of regulations of the Amazon to the agricultural ministry, which is controlled by powerful agribusiness lobby. “There will be an increase in deforestation and violence against indigenous people,” the executive coordinator of the Articulation of Indigenous People of Brazil (Apib) told The Guardian, in January. Now, as images take hold across social media of the Amazon burning, the concern for the protection of the Amazon seems to have reached a new zenith. Over the past 24 hours, social media users, among them celebrities, have shared images and messages of the Amazon fires, which reportedly grew by 83 percent this year.

The Amazon’s best hope for some? Meet the female indigenous chief, Ajareaty Waiap, who is on a mission to save Brazil’s forests. “If the forest is gone, people will also end,” says Ajareaty Waiapi, the female chief and grandmother working to preserve her community — and the planet’s lungs.

Los Dells Festival

As the summer winds down, don’t miss Los Dells Festival this weekend, the first major Latin Music & Arts Festival in the Midwest and the largest Latin Music Festival in the U.S! The festival is a multi-cultural experience for fans of Latin music just outside one of the largest family-friendly entertainment destinations in the Midwest: The Wisconsin Dells. With art installations, a vast culinary program, and a heavy hitting lineup, festival attendees are in for an unforgettable experience. Get your tickets and more information here for the best weekend of the summer!

A Look at Minnesota

In Hurricane Maria’s wake, many Puerto Ricans found a safe harbor in Minnesota. More than 300 families have migrated to Minnesota from Puerto Rico in the aftermath of a devastating 2017 hurricane. Many are rebuilding their lives here, though they face barriers. Some aren’t sure if they’ll stay. Here’s one families story: Meet Victor Rivera Garcia, his wife Alejandra and their 1- and 3-year-old daughters fled their home in La Perla, Puerto Rico just as Hurricane Maria came crashing down on the island. “Everything was flooded inside the house,” Rivera said as he recalled the 2017 storm that crippled Puerto Rico. With the island in ruins, they began looking elsewhere in the United States for a place to rebuild their lives. A friend had mentioned Minneapolis. Rivera said they didn’t know exactly where Minneapolis was at that point, but after researching job prospects and quality of life, they saw a chance to start again in the Twin Cities and have found a sense of community here, like many families after the Hurricane.
As the summer comes to a close in Minnesota, here are three spots for a different way to chill besides just ice cream – including La Michoacana Purépecha, which services treats from Michoacán, Mexico. Paletas are like popsicles, but they come in many flavors, made of many fruits, which are sometimes frozen in delicious chunks. The owners of La Michoacana Purépecha, immigrants from Michoacán themselves, took a leap of faith to bring their favorite childhood treats to Minnesotans, selling paletas while supporting Latinx communities in Minnesota through sponsorships and student programming, with free treats to celebrate the academic success of kids in grades K-8. Visit them on 701 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612-886-3039. iDelicioso!

Culture Matters

The summer movie season is coming to a close and there have been diverse stories sprinkled amongst the films featured in theaters, but one group remains underrepresented: Latinos. In a study from Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in partnership with National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment, Hollywood has failed the Latinx community when it comes to their portrayal in popular movies. The comprehensive and in-depth study examined the prevalence of Latino characters on-screen across 1,200 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2018, with only 3% of Latinos having a lead role.  “At a time where Latinos in our country are facing intense concerns over their safety, we urgently need to see the Latino community authentically and accurately represented throughout entertainment,” Dr. Smith states.

Speaking of culture, over the weekend the community of Al Toona, Wisconsin gathered for a fiesta to celebrate Latinx culture. Sunday evening in river prairie was full of music, dancing, food and smiles. The 2nd annual community fiesta put on by JONAH, or Joining Our Neighbors Advancing Hope, was a way for Altoona residents to get to know their Latinx neighbors and vice versa. “The Latinx families that we know are just wonderful families,” said David Anderson, a co-chair on JONAH’s immigration task force. “You’d be really glad to have them as neighbors, and we’d like other people to know that. That these people are a huge asset for our community.” ¡Fantástico!


We’re Queen B and Aya. Communications Specialists at NewPublica by day, and professional fairies by night. Have articles you would like to share or general suggestions? Feel free to shoot us an email at info@newpublica.com. Or subscribe below to keep up with all the latest news.


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