If we compare Latin America with other places, it is easy to highlight how green and enriching these lands are. We can think that it is due to the changing civilization, climatic changes, or people from outside who helped in the environment; however, the first environmentalists were our ancestors. 

We never visualized the indigenous or the natives within the environmental category since we learned more about their history over the years instead of seeing what they gave to us. We think of the indigenous or natives as founders of our lands, but they were more than that; they were protectors of their environment.

Our ancestors became environmentalists without putting on a label. They began by knowing their lands produced something to protect them from civilization. We can travel to the past and see how they transformed a natural product into something useful for human beings. 

Everything green that we can see is thanks to the indigenous peoples, who have fought for the environment from the beginning, just like the Aztecs, who implemented the zero-waste society, using everything around them as a resource to produce chinampas. Without going so far into the past, we can see how the descendants of the indigenous peoples continue to conserve the land and the environment, whether it is growing potatoes in Peru or producing coffee in Colombia.

Latin America has become the world’s leading food supplier of coffee, beans, potatoes, renewable natural aquatic resources, and more. Thanks to its protectors and all of Latin America’s indigenous and native people, we have great agricultural productivity. And this means? They were practically the origin of the word environmentalist, carrying on their back the protection and care of natural products.

To them, they don’t end up protecting the environment from modern civilization and consistently seek to advocate and promote awareness. To them, our ancestors and successors, we owe what we have today at our hands.

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Natalia Arreola
Natalia Arreola is a New Mexico State University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing with a minor in Psychology. She works at El Paso Inc. as Audience Development & Engagement Manger. Natalia has been working on different projects as an editor, including Chrysalis, The Papagayo Project, Memorias del Silencio, and more. Natalia’s goal is to get her master’s degree in either Publishing or Editing to apply to larger publishing companies. And maybe one day, she can publish her own book. Her passion has always been between books and writing to find a way to understand this world and life.