Jaidacyn Madrigal, 20’s
I am an environmental activist. I recently contracted with the Washington Wild nonprofit organization where I raised awareness on local environmental conservation topics concerning Washington State as part of our partnered collaboration of videos called the “Conservation Chat." The topics I covered in the videos include protecting the Skagit River from threats of mining, defending the Alaskan Tongass National Park from potentially harmful legislation, and promoting new legislation that will protect the Wild Olympics wilderness and rivers. I engage the public and youth to care about environmental issues.
After attending the 2019 Climate Reality Project Conference, I reached out to high school biology teachers and gave 19 talks on climate change to their classes, gave a presentation to a sociology class at Sacramento State University, and delivered a climate change presentation to the “Connect to Our Earth” community event at the Sacramento Public Library. In addition, I gave a focused presentation, “The Effects of Climate Change on the Pacific Islands,” to the Pacific Islanders United Club at Sacramento State University.
Most recently, I have given virtual presentations to high school classrooms. I also hope to educate the younger generation with my new children’s book I published, “Why Is Earth Sick?," which teaches kids about environmental issues and ways they can help. I have developed resources and lesson plans, along with two PowerPoint presentations that go along with the book, for teachers to use in their classrooms.
I also relay climate related issues and solutions by creating informative videos for my YouTube blog channel “EcoGirl”, and by posting eco-friendly tips on my Instagram page (@ecogirl5). To encourage people to eat a more sustainably my sisters and I started an Instagram page (@threeveggiesisters) with the best vegan/vegetarian food spots on the West Coast to help people navigate where to eat when visiting these places.
I have created a website which showcases my activist art. To communicate climate change through visual art, I created two series of charcoal art “What EYE See” and “How Far is Too Far?” which highlights the effects of climate change on people around the world. I have created art pieces in a variety of mediums as part of a series called “Extinction." This series brings to light how what we do as humans are negatively affecting wildlife and driving them towards extinction.
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
Tell us about your family story.
My father crossed the border and came to the United States from Mexico when he was in his early 20's. He later met my mom in Washington State, as he was a cook on the "Spirit of Puget Sound" dinner cruise that my mom was the manager of. My parents had a Spanish-English dictionary on their first date as my dad didn't know how to speak English and my mom didn't know how to speak Spanish. My mom taught my dad all the English he knows and now he is fluent in English!
What are the strengths and challenges of being Mexican American?
A strength in being Mexican American is that I get to know another heritage and culture! My family and I lived in Mexico for 6 months when I was in 4th grade and it was such a great experience! A challenge is the language, in that I look Mexican - however, I can only speak a little Spanish. I feel really bad when someone asks me something in Spanish, thinking that I speak the language and I can't help them. I can't even really speak with some of my family members either.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment would be writing my first Children's Book "Why Is Earth Sick?" and creating all my art pieces! Links are above.
Reflecting on how you grew up, what did you learn or appreciate from your family?
I learned that family is so important! My family is very close - my mom, dad and sisters are my best friends! I learned that family will always be there for me no matter what and that they will always support me and help me reach my goals! I appreciate that I can be open with my family and that we all communicate really well with one another. I appreciate that my family is always there to help!
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
My dad is Mexican and my mom is Caucasian (white) and unfortunately, I am not fluent in Spanish which is my dad's native language. I know a little from growing up and learning. When my parents homeschooled us in Mexico, we learned Spanish and my dad spoke to us in Spanish when we were little, and I took Spanish in high school. However, I just know enough to "get by" but am not fluent. Recently my dad has been speaking to us more in Spanish because he wants us to learn so we are making an effort to learn!
What advice do you have for the younger generations in your Mexican American community?
The advice I have for the younger Mexican American generation or people of color in general is to get out there and make a difference! Go volunteering! I think volunteering for different organizations is rewarding - it gives you a sense of accomplishment, and you may also find a cause you are passionate about in doing so! Spending time to give back is one of the most impactful things you can do as a young person because you can start volunteering at such a young age!
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
What gives me the greatest joy in life is seeing people make positive changes in our world! There are so many tragedies in our world that I love to see people coming together to make a positive impact and there are so many organizations out there that are working towards making the world a better place and that is what I love to see!
Are there any projects you have created that you'd like to share and promote?
My activist website where I showcase my artwork, book, and other projects!
EcoGirl YouTube Channel
Activist Art Instagram
Three Veggie Sisters Instagram (Vegan/Vegetarian Instagram)
"Why Is Earth Sick?" Children's Book
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