El gobierno electo del estado de Baja California, que entrará en funciones el próximo mes de noviembre, ha anunciado en diferentes medios de comunicación la intención de que la actual Secretaria de Protección al Ambiente, se convierta en una sub-secretaria, quedando subordinada a la Secretaría de Desarrollo.

Este es un asunto que nos tiene muy preocupados en Environmental Health Coalition y particularmente en nuestra campaña fronteriza para la justicia ambiental, porque creemos que significa debilitar una agencia ambiental muy importante y que al final va a poner en riesgo el seguimiento a temas ambientales que pueden poner en peligro la calidad de vida de personas.

En conferencia de prensa esta mañana, Magdalena Cerda, Policy Advocate de la campaña de la frontera, aseguró que:

“Esperamos que este posicionamiento en contra de este cambio de 'secretaría' a 'subsecretaría' sea escuchado por la nueva administración. Incluso estamos deseosos de ser parte de un equipo de trabajo donde desarrollemos una mejor legislación y aplicación de la ley.”


Por este motivo respaldamos la carta de posicionamiento en la que se expresa esta preocupación, entregada por nuestras organizaciones aliadas en Tijuana, al Gobernador Electo de Baja California en su oficina de transición la semana pasada.

Seguiremos trabajando para buscar puentes que mantengan el trabajo ambiental fuerte con la colaboración de las comunidades.


D1 Candidate's Forum

Neighbors are unaware of the origin of the waste, but like California activists, suspect that they are runoffs from the maquiladoras located along the Alamar creek.

In the vicinity of the Chilpancingo area, near the industrial zone of Otay and the Tijuana River, colored water is often seen running through the streets.

"There have been times when colored water comes, it looks like rainbows," says Luz Elena Félix, a resident of the area and community promoter of the Colectivo Chilpancingo Pro Justicia Ambiental.

Pollution runoff

Read the full article in Spanish on El Sol de Tijuana

On a sunny Saturday morning in July, we took 21 eager passengers on our BarrioLive! Tijuana Tour.


During the course of the day, we made numerous stops to highlight environmental justice in our cross-border communities.

  • Alamar River channelization project: The binational Alamar River and the invaluable ecosystem it contains were being paved. Now, we’re working to preserve it. We showed our progress first-hand saving this precious natural resource.
  • Metales y Derivados: Many years ago, we helped lead the cleanup of 45,000 tons of toxic waste and establish a structure for cross-border collaboration on toxic-site cleanups. We visited the site that symbolizes environmental justice achieved and a monumental neighborhood victory.
  • Maquiladoras viewpoint: Maquiladora assembly plants in Colonia Chilpancingo have contaminated the neighborhood and its resources for many years. Our tour allowed guests to see and understand them from a new point of view.

For several hours, our guests learned about critical community victories that have come from a 20-year-old campaign that has helped relieve numerous communities of pollution and displacement. The tour included personal struggles shared first-hand by the local community members, as well as their motivation to form the Colonia Chilpancingo.

Our youth group (Grupo de Jovenes) joined us to share stories from their experiences. 22-year-old Fernando and his family have been EHC activists for close to eight years. He told the group he, “is motivated to know he has and will continue to make a difference.” His conviction and determination inspired and touched everyone.


To conclude the tour, we enjoyed a mixer with community members and had the opportunity to meet the people who have brought environmental justice to Tijuana for more than 25 years.


Here is some of the feedback we received:

  • “I liked the Alamar River because we really got to see an area in use and its effects on the community.”
  • “The tour had good detail on the history of the toxicity and remediation; good presentation of existing problems; excellent company; excellent lunch”
  • “Can't thank EHC enough. It is an incredible organization that I wish everyone advocated for.”


We look forward to the next BarrioLive! Tour, in San Diego this fall – October 19, 2017.

Mark your calendars and send an email to Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. to reserve your seat today.

Toxic pollution knows no borders. That’s why EHC works to build healthy communities in San Diego and Tijuana. Whether we are helping save a river or teaching women how to be leaders in their neighborhoods, we believe that we are stronger when our countries are united for environmental justice.

Watch the videos below to get a sneak peak of our border environmental justice work.

Alamar River

The Alamar is a binational river that originates in the United States, crosses into Mexico and then returns to the United States, where it discharges into the Tijuana River Estuary. In 2011, it began to be channelized with concrete, leaving the area without its natural ecosystem. EHC is working to preserve the last remaining section of the creek.

Colectivo Chilpancingo

Founded by women, this group has been working for more than 16 years to strengthen environmental justice in Mexico.

Metales y Derivados

In 1994, after years of complaints from the community, the Mexican government shut down a battery recycler called Metales y sus Derivados, leaving behind 20,000 tons of toxic waste on site. EHC worked for more than 10 years to clean up the site, eliminating a serious hazard for 10,000 families nearby.

Environmental justice matters because of people like Lourdes Lujan. For 18 years, Lourdes has helped inform her neighbors about local health and environmental hazards. At our 2016 award celebration, One People, Una Frontera, Lourdes shared stories of protecting Arroyo Alamar in Tijuana and organizing a cleanup of 45,000 tons of toxic waste. Now, she shares her story with you:

METALES Y DERIVADOS firmando el convenio

I was introduced to EHC in 1998, and have been a part of this movement ever since. Similar to many who work at EHC, I started out knocking on my neighbors’ doors to explain the health and environmental threats that Metales y Derivados represented for all of us. I would invite them to meetings – which were held in our homes back then – so that all of us could find a solution together.

I never imagined that from that work to organize our neighbors that we would achieve a clean-up of 45,000 tons of toxic waste and that we would now be successful in saving part of the Rio Alamar.

When I was invited to participate in the Maquilapolis documentary, I could not imagine how a video could explain the environmental, health, and work issues we were living through, much less that the documentary would make it around the world.

We, the community health workers, feel proud of having met Vicky Funary and Sergio de la Torre, the project’s producer and director. Maquilapolis gave me the opportunity to see many more cities and countries that I never thought I’d get to see in my lifetime.

I am very grateful to EHC for everything I have learned; I am grateful for all the support for our community; I am grateful for being able to work with all of you for a healthier community.

Conocí a EHC en 1998 y desde entonces soy parte de la organizavion. Al igual que varios de los que trabajan en EHC, yo comencé tocando las puertas de mis vecinos para explicarles los problemas ambientales y de salud que representaba Metales y Derivados para nosotros. Los invitaba a reuniones, que en ese entonces las hacíamos en nuestras casas, para encontrar la solución entre todos.

Nunca imaginé que de ese trabajo involucrando a mi comunidad, lograríamos una limpieza de 45,000 toneladas de residuos toxicos, y que ahora tendríamos el éxito en poder salvar parte del Arroyo Alamar.

Cuando me invitaron a participar en el documental Maquilápolis, no imaginaba cómo un video podría explicar los problemas ambientales, de salud y laborales que vivíamos, y además que daríamos la vuelta al mundo con este documental.

Nosotras las promotoras nos sentimos orgullosas de haber conocido a Vicky Funari y Sergio de la Torre, productores y directores de este proyecto. Con Maquilápolis tuve la oportunidad de conocer muchas ciudades y países que nunca en mi vida pensé que llegaría a visitar

Estoy muy agradecida con EHC por todo lo que he aprendido, estoy agradecida por todo el apoyo a nuestra comunidad, estoy agradecida por trabajar con ustedes por una comunidad más sana.