In 2014, Carlos Zegarra, his sister, Vanessa Hauc, and his wife, Johana Suarez, both Telemundo newscasters, started Sachamama, a Latino environmental group.
We love Sachamama’s vision, because it approaches environmental issues in Latino communities in the U.S. as a storytelling challenge. “Latino American politics are divided along national lines,” explains Carlos. “People from Mexico have different views than people from Guatemala, who have different views than people from Nicaragua, and so on. The one thing that all Latinos have in common, regardless of where they’re from, is respect for La Tierra, Mother Earth.”
For two years, we help Carlos, Vanessa and the other founders of Sachamama build a story framework for the organization: Many hours with Carlos, developing a key for each of their four key demos; hosting dinner workshops to introduce media influencers to the group; community workshops to train volunteers. And through it all, we stayed focused on the idea that stories of the land would help us unify and mobilize all 30 million Latino Americans of voting age, regardless of their roots.
When we began working with them, they were a seedling organization with a presence only in Miami. Today, they have a presence in eight U.S. cities, and have partnered with Telemundo, the World Wildlife Fund and Climate Reality on initiatives around environmental issues that most affect Latino Americans. The spirit that guides our work is a phrase that came up early in our conversations with Carlos, and today is Sachamama’s motto: Un hogar para todas nuestras historias. A home for all our stories.