Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Visiting PODER in San Francisco with Teresa Almaguer...

Finally in San Francisco, California...'San Pancho'

We took the BART from Oakland to San Francisco to visit PODER located on 16th and Valencia streets in the MISSION district, we walked from Mission Street to Valencia and went to the Centro del Pueblo where PODER offices are located.  There we were greeted by Teresa Almaguer, organizer with PODER and she introduced us to the other staff working there.

PODER was established in 1991 to fight for environmental justice and against environmental racism.  Antonio Diaz was founder and has been Director of PODER that has organized significant campaigns in the Mission District to expand green spaces that involve grassroots community in the planning and design of those green areas.  PODER has fought to have a voice in community development, housing by fighting City hall and the developers.  PODER has been working on 'Another World is Possible' by developing urban gardens, community parks, youth programs and leadership development as well as cultural development in the painting of murals, promoting music and all kinds of culture.  The PODER work extends to fighting for Climate justice and 'buen vivir' as coined by President Evo Morales of Bolivia.

Teresa also gave us a 'diving tour' of the murals in the Mission District and explained the meaning and who did the murals.  She also explained and pointed out the struggles to get the community parks and showed us the parks now in existence because of their work.

Visitamos la organización de Justicia Ambiental en San Francisco, California que va por el nombre de PODER.  PODER fue establecido en 1991 por Antonio Diaz y allí nos dio una gira la compañera Teresa Almaguer que es organizadora allí.  También nos dio la compañera Teresa una gira por carro para ver los murales en los edificios de el Distrito de la Misión.  En sus luchas PODER gano varios parques (áreas verdes) en las cuales involucraron la comunidad en el diseño de los parques.  También organizan huertos caseros y áreas de huertos colectivos en la comunidad y escuelas.

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