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Taking EPA to the Community

2009 October 2

Beyond Translation logo bannerFor nearly four years, EPA has undertaken a multilingual outreach effort entitled Beyond Translation. The first Beyond Translation Hispanic Stakeholders Forum saw the light in San Antonio, Texas in the fall of 2006 as a Hispanic outreach initiative designed to increase environmental awareness among Hispanic leaders. Thanks to hard-working EPA employees, this initiative has blossomed into an effort that truly engages EPA and with Hispanic stakeholders from community-based organizations, small businesses, academia, and government officials. As the title suggests, the main objective is to go beyond the traditional mechanisms of reaching out to Hispanics in the US. While necessary, translating brochures into Spanish only produces limited results in increasing the environmental awareness of Hispanic stakeholders. The purpose of these forums is to take EPA to the community where people live, work, learn and play in order to sustain a productive and ongoing dialogue on their environmental concerns and challenges. Through this important tool, the Agency can effectively promote environmentalism among Hispanic communities in a language they can understand so they can actively participate in EPA’s decision-making process.

This year, EPA is once again taking its message to the community in a series of Beyond Translation Forums. The first one will be in EPA Research Triangle Park, NC on October 7th. The theme for this year’s RTP forum is: “EPA and the Hispanic Community: Building Environmental Awareness in Rural Communities.” I urge you attend either in person or virtually (webcasts will be offered) Stay tuned for the next one in our series. Together we can make a difference in environmental protection.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. guillermodelpaz permalink
    October 2, 2009

    me interesa lo que hacen, los entiendo.-los comprendo,sigan adelante sin claudicar

  2. Tracy permalink
    October 2, 2009

    I’m glad that you are getting to the Hispanic community but you also have to get to alot others. I’m totally into the green thing. But you really need to get more out to us middle, lower class people, we are the ones that can make a real change. Good luck and I hope you make a HUGE inpact. Thanks.

  3. Johnny R. permalink
    October 3, 2009

    “Together we can make a difference in environmental protection.” But you won’t dare suggest that a smaller human population and 100% recycling of all waste and garbage would safeguard the environment far more effectively than any of the EPA’s postage stamp measures, especially not to Hispanic persons so dedicated to growing their population to grow their political and economic power, just like all our European ancestors who invaded and conquered this land 400 years ago and hold it in an ecocidal strangle hold. “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” — “til Earth can take no more and finally dies.”

  4. Johnny R. permalink
    October 4, 2009

    EPA’s list of taboo opinions grows longer as humanity stumbles closer to its ecocidal point of no return.

  5. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    October 5, 2009

    This is great. It will be a huge help to get everyone informed on environmental issues and understanding what is going on. Going beyond just translating brochures will help you to win friends and allies in the hispanic communities across the country. And no where is this more important than in hispanic rural areas in the country. We have had a situation out near San Bernardino where Mexican immigrants were badly treated in a trailer park; these persons where Mexican Indians and many did not know Spanish let alone English. What you are doing will give the community important information and that will give them some power over what happens to them and where they live. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  6. Lina-EPA permalink*
    October 5, 2009

    Michael, You’re right. There are an increasing number of Hispanic farmworkers that hail from rural areas in Mexico and Guatemala that speak indigenous languages like Mexteco, among others. Our Pesticides Office and several farmworker groups are reaching out to them in their languages. Much more needs to be done to help them protect their health, their families and the environment.

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