Woman Led: Fighting for Environmental Justice

GROW Program and Our Border Community

An important pillar of our business model is to give back to the communities we impact. We are headquartered in San Diego and form part of the bustling bi-national community on the Mexican border. To that end, it is important that we are helping shape the communities we touch in a positive manner.

Moms vs. Maquiladoras

Tijuana, one of the busiest land border crossings in the world, is also home to over 300 maquiladoras, or assembly plants. While this provides a lot of jobs, it often results in the unregulated pollution of waterways and local communities.

In the 1980s and 90s, a fierce group of stay-at-home mothers decided to fight against the contamination that was affecting their children and community in Tijuana. They banded together as Colectivo Chilpancingo, and after a decade of work, they successfully lobbied the government in closing a battery recycling plant and secured a commitment from the government to safely dispose of the over 45,000 tons of waste that the plant left behind.

Protecting Our Communities

Today, Colectivo Chilpancingo, in partnership with the Environmental Health Coalition and the GROW program, continues the fight for environmental justice, defending the right to live in healthy and sustainable communities. In 2011, the Alamar River began to be channelized, depleting the area of its natural ecosystem, an area of natural recreation, and displacing part of the community. 

The unchannelized portion is one of the few lush, nature-rich areas left in Tijuana while the channelized portion has divided the Chilpancingo community. Trash and pollution now plague the once nature-rich neighborhood. The displaced families are now compelled to take up shelter in shanty towns across the channel, and women and children are forced to cross a freeway and haphazardly constructed paths to make their way across the polluted channel and into their town to work or attend school.

Through the work being done by the Environmental Health Coalition and the GROW program, we support these communities along our border in their struggle for environmental justice, improving air pollution and preserving the river.

To learn more about the work they continue to do in conjunction with the Environmental Health Coalition, you can visit their site or follow them on Instagram.

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