March 2020 Newsletter
We wanted to take a moment and let you know that we are thinking about you and your families during these troubling times. We hope that this message finds you healthy and safe.
Like everyone else, we do not know how this pandemic will change our day-to-day lives, or how we will all function together as a society. Despite the hard times we have fallen on collectively, we hope that you are still able to find solidarity in your communities. We encourage you to reach out to your families and neighbors and practice self-care.
If you would like to continue to connect to the water world during this time, we encourage you to follow us on social media (Twitter and/or Facebook). If you’re looking for ways to pass the time while sheltering in place, you can also review the WELL Toolkit, which has endless educational resources to keep your mind occupied.
Throughout this crisis, WELL vows to keep local elected officials informed about water news and policy, maintain our flagship UnTapped Fellowship Program, and prepare for the next iteration of the WELL Annual Conference, which unfortunately had to be postponed due to coronavirus social distancing measures.
We wish you and your families safety and solace during these difficult times. If you are interested in staying informed on the coronavirus outbreak in California, we recommend you visit the California Department of Public Health website. Stay safe, practice social distancing, and let’s flatten the curve together.
UnTapped WELLos Head to Coachella Valley!
WELLos visited Coachella Valley to explore myriad issues facing the Salton Sea, housing and economic development, and the Colorado River. They toured Polanco Parks with Monica Telles, the Senior Development Specialist for the County of Riverside Economic Development Agency, and Shayra Hernandez, the East Valley Liaison and Agriculture Advisor under County of Riverside Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. During the tour, WELLos got to speak to two young women about their experiences living in Polanco Parks. Fellows also got to hear from Sergio Carranza, the Executive Director of Pueblo Unido, and interview Castulo Estrada, Vice President of the Coachella Valley Water District. In the evening, City of Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez took fellows on a public art tour of the City.
Below are some photos from the session!
UnTapped WELLos learning about the Salton Sea from the Salton Sea Authority.
WELLos with staff from Supervisor V. Manual Perez’s Office, Pueblo Unido, and Riverside County Economic Development Agency after a tour of Polanco Parks.
Learning about Coachella Valley’s water resources from Castulo Estrada, Board Vice President of the Coachella Valley Water Authority.
Dinner with friends from Coachella Valley, including Mayor Steven Hernandez of the City of Coachella.
World Water Day 2020
Sunday, March 20 was the United Nations’ World Water Day, an annual day of action dedicated to understanding and conserving water. This year’s theme for World Water Day was Water and Climate Change. The theme was meant to spark discussion on how water and climate change are inextricably linked. As a water education organization, WELL supports the work of the United Nations in educating the public about water resources and climate change. To learn more about World Water Day or how to participate, please visit worldwaterday.org.
In Honor of Cesar Chavez Day
Today, Tuesday March 31, is Cesar E. Chavez Day. Cesar Chavez Day is the first legal state holiday dedicated to service and learning in honor of farm worker leader Cesar Chavez. To honor this holiday and serve our communities during this difficult time, the WELL staff all volunteered to donate blood to their local blood banks. We thank those medical providers working on the front lines to accept our donation and take care of those who are ill while the rest of us shelter in place. This Cesar Chavez Day, we implore you to find a way to serve your community, whether that be donating blood, delivering groceries to an elderly neighbor, or calling your loved ones to check in. In this challenging time, service to community is more important now than ever before. May you all stay safe and have a wonderful Cesar Chavez Day!
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Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL) educates local Latino elected officials on California water policies to promote timely and equitable actions that strive to develop a robust economy, healthy communities, and a resilient environment for all Californians. Visit our website: www.latinosforwater.org.