01. Argentina

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So my name is Clara Dolores, my pronouns are they / her. I have like blue eyes, right? Brown hair. I'm not that tall. And I'm a bit tan right now that spring is coming here and I come from Argentina, from Fiske Menuco, Rio Negro, and I have lived through the climate emergency for 23 long years. Today is Monday the fifth of September 2022, and it's quarter past four in the afternoon.

I live in Fiske Menuco, which is a small town in the province of Rio Negro in the north of Patagonia and in the south of Argentina. I live in the high valley, which is like four towns really near of each other. So it's kind of like a big town but a small town at the same time. Through the high valley. We have one river that is the Black River, which also gives the name to my province, Rio Negro, where I live, we have the river and we have the valley. And it's really nice, and it's really hot in summer and it's really, really cold winter.

I grew up in Catriel , which is the first town in a hold province that found oil, I came from a really dry place because it's desert like the climates. Over the years it's has become even hotter. Summers are really dry and hard to bear because although we have the river in the high valley, this river doesn't reach that town.


So what's Argentina climate emergency? Argentina right now is facing like many crises in every aspect. Besides the the economic crisis we always faced. We have the climate emergency is taking over right. Right now. The government is negotiating with oil corporations to scout the sea the Argentinian sea for oil. And we know that that is just really bad. On another hand, we have China and the production of pigs to consume them. Argentina is a really large country. So it's hard to feed all of us. The government says right we are a lot but I think the bad management of the environmental issues we are facing is what is costing us. Argentina is being sold and right now, here where I live oil companies slowly are taking over the small towns right, like the small farms and everything. And they want to steal the water from the people to use fracking. Yes. So have like a really extreme situation, I think.

How did I become aware of the climate emergency? Well, like I mentioned, I'm not from fiscal from another small town and we have only two high schools right. And so at the end of the year, the students show what the they have been working on. So the topic for one of the groups that were presenting was climate emergency or environmental issues. And I remember the there was this presentation about how we will survive without water in 2070. And I was really shocked. I was seven years I was from the primary school like elementary school, while my mom told me that I will be probably alive. And that was the first time that that the idea of the emergency of how we were approaching things, and I remember to feel really hopeless, and I was like a kid. And that feeling stayed with me till now, when I realised that I grew up in a place where oil was being struck from Earth, like daily. And I live there, right? Like I would go with my father to visit where he works. And he was working for the companies, right? Because that's what people do that you are lucky if you get a job at an oil company. And then when I grew older, well, I saw that right? Like, everything comes from Mother Earth, our food, our clothes, when I have that vision, right that what was going on in my small town, I saw the end of the world, like I saw it right there.

A time or place where I felt that the climate emergency was real, or that I was like actually living it. I think it was when you know, Monsanto, they control the seeds. Right now in Argentina, they made a contract with the government, I don't know what was going on, then all the seeds we have to grow, cannot be produced by the people must be bought from official or like regulated shops. And most of these shops are owned by this company, Monsanto. So they sell you the poison and the poisoned seed. And that's going on in Argentina, right. And through all Latin America, we are fighting because we have lost the right to produce our food. And I remember I was in college, like I was like studying at the library. And a classmate came and she was like really concerned. She didn't understand anything what was going on, because the people were like, confused as well. She read, she read the news for us, I was with another classmates. And then I looked right to my notebooks. And I asked myself like, what are we even doing even like here studying what what we are supposed to do now?


How am I conscious or how the people around me is conscious about the climate emergency or the climate crisis. Most of my friends and also my family as well. But I think we have certain levels of awareness, I would say, for example, I have a friend that he builds like, eco houses and he's all into bio regenerating the planet. And I have other friends. They are aware but they still do certain things like they use a lot of plastic. Right one use plastics. I think personally, I try to be everyday a little bit more aware taking a small actions, trying to plant more trees, right trying to do to do actual activities that will impact. In my case, I live in a community we all have bio houses, right? You say eco friendly neighbourhood. So we can plan ahead and we have a green space and green area. In that sense, I think I live submerged in a really aware community but at the same time, I see that we are far.

How I feel about the future. Well, sometimes I feel really hopeless and sometimes I feel really hopeful as well. I see that people are starting to speak about these issues. We have locally based organisations that are trying to do good, but at the same time I see that we might be a little bit late... for that. So I think that it is good to think locally and or act locally think globally. But I think that we need to be critical about the way we are going to do so. Because we need to be intelligent we need to be clever. And to see that there are governments that are for example selling Latin America right. All the countries here are jeopardised by the companies by the oil companies by food companies and people here suffer the consequences of climate change in everywhere you can see that we are all suffering the consequences of bad government decisions.

Acting on the climate emergency is important for me because I see that if we only have one chance to live something better, we need to take it and even though sometimes we feel hopeless, we think that it's not enough it doesn't matter it's not that that's not the point the point is to start making impact on the people around us being aware right of our territory where we are why we are here right our history, how we can relearn, leave behind everything that has been hurting us for years the patriarchy the food companies right start going back to our roots and going back to that place where we all were one with our planets with Mother Earth okay, maybe that's a lot maybe but you know going in that direction.

What makes me feel hopeful for these coming years is that every day we I think we are more people working together even though we don't think the same we are trying to leave behind something better and be better people as well with better person try to be better, that gives me hope.