Catalina Santelices, co-founder of Latinas For Climate, joins TEDxLondon’s Climate Curious to share extreme weather events in Chile.

Transcript: Climate Quickie: Meet the Latinas championing climate justice in Chile

TEDxLondon Climate Curious

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Living in Chile, Catalina Santelices regularly experiences firsthand the effects of a changing climate – droughts, floods, polluted food, ruined crops. That’s why Catalina co-founded Latinas for Climate, a movement that embraces young Latina identities and perspectives in climate action. Catalina joins TEDxLondon’s Climate Curious to share what’s going on in Chile, why we need an intersectional approach to climate justice, and how you can help support Latinas championing climate via HERO |

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CC S04Q51 – Catalina Santelices (EDIT 1)

[00:00:00] Maryam Pasha: Welcome to Climate Quickies, bite sized nuggets of climate goodness from our TEDxLondon experts in under five minutes.

[00:00:08] Ben Hurst: In this week’s Climate Curious Quickie, we hear from the co founder of Latinas for Climate, Catalina Santelites. Living in Chile, Catalina regularly experiences first hand the effects of a change in climate.

[00:00:20] Ben Hurst: Droughts, floods. polluted food. Catalina mobilized a movement that embraces young Latina identities and perspectives, looking to [00:00:30] amplify the voices of girls and women across the region. Over to Catalina to share the impacts they’re already making at a regional, national, and global level, and how you can support them to achieve even more.

[00:00:43] Ben Hurst: Stay curious.

[00:00:47] Catalina Santelices: Hi, my name is Catalina Santelises. I am a 20 years old climate and eco feminist activist from Chile. I’m a law student, also here in Chile, and I am one [00:01:00] Latinas for Climate and a member of the Climate and Feminist Latin American Justice Circle, meaning HERO. Chile faces a lot of different climate crisis consequences and a lot of different issues on climate because we are this really, really diverse country.

[00:01:16] Catalina Santelices: So, at the north, we have the most driest desert in the world. Means that we have a lot of minerals and resources that the global north company really wants. So up north [00:01:30] we have, the communities have to face the mining and now it’s a huge issue with the lithium because we have one of the biggest, um, like spots in the world to find lithium and that will affect directly, that will affect all the indigenous communities and the rural communities like huge because That takes a lot of water to take the lithium out of the, of the soil.

[00:01:56] Catalina Santelices: And if we move that move a little bit South, um, we’ll [00:02:00] found, we’ll found the central region where I am from. And it’s a really Mediterranean kind of weather. And most of it, it’s. We live from the farms and the harvest, so that means a lot of deforestation, a lot of pressure on the soil, a lot of pesticides.

[00:02:18] Catalina Santelices: If we move to the south, we have Patagonia. Most people know a lot of Patagonia. But what people don’t know is that Patagonia is being destroyed now because of the salmon industry. They literally [00:02:30] have farms for salmon. In Chile, we have one of the most polluted salmon in the world, and that’s destroying thousands and thousands of kilometers of land.

[00:02:40] Catalina Santelices: Nature around Patagonia, the natural fjords, which are really pristine place in the world and really, really unique. It’s being destroyed now for, for the salmon industry. And if we move, move a little, like, south, we have Antarctica, which is also part of the national territory. And [00:03:00] Antarctica is now facing also one of the hottest, um, summers.

[00:03:05] Catalina Santelices: Every summer it’s getting even, even more hot weather. And that’s destroying the, the… Ice, it’s melting the ice, and that’s making huge migration of penguins, and between Antarctica and the desert in the north, we have literally everything in between. We have a lot of islands, we have coast, we have mountains, we have…

[00:03:28] Catalina Santelices: Over 25, 000 [00:03:30] glaciers. So you can imagine how our country it’s now one of the most impacted by the climate crisis, Chile. Now we’re in the middle of winter and we are facing one of the biggest, um, rainy seasons in over 50 years. Where in July and now, these past few days, over a thousand of houses were completely flooded.

[00:03:53] Catalina Santelices: The harvests were destroyed. Some people are dying. Lots of them lost their houses completely. [00:04:00] And that’s some unexpected way of the climate crisis is showing here in Chile. Because in the other part of the region, we are now facing over more than ten years of extreme drought. Where they don’t have enough water to…

[00:04:17] Catalina Santelices: Get the farms going. It’s really, really shocking to see because I’ve never seen that before in, in, in my region. Personally, my dad lost some of the, of his harvest, um, which is what he, he lives from.[00:04:30] [00:04:35] Catalina Santelices: We, in the Global South, we’re facing the climate crisis stronger than ever. But it’s a global thing, because we, we see the news and we see all the fires. In Greece, in Hawaii, uh, the hurricane in Los Angeles, you know. But no one is talking about Chile. And that’s the thing that I realized these past few days.

[00:04:57] Catalina Santelices: That even though literally, [00:05:00] um, Over 30, 000 people were affected by this. No one is talking about this in international level, where we don’t have the money to, to stand back. And maybe the global north country can have the resources to… To build themselves after these climate disasters, but we can’t, and no one is talking about us, and no one is here to support us.[00:05:30] [00:05:32] Catalina Santelices: In this hero circle, it’s with Latin American women from different countries. We are from Chile, Argentina, Peru. We’re from Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, and we identify as Latin women fighting for climate justice because We are a community that is really underrepresented in climate decision making spaces So we work trying to create awareness on climate crisis with the [00:06:00] gender perspective.

[00:06:01] Catalina Santelices: The climate crisis For us, it’s not only the polar bear in the top of the iceberg that you know doesn’t have food. Um But for us, it’s our lives, it’s our communities that have been facing these issues for over 10 years now. And we try to show the face of the women from the Global South who are now in the present facing the climate crisis consequences because no one is really talking about us, [00:06:30] and we have to stand up for ourselves and for our future.

[00:06:35] Catalina Santelices: If we don’t do it, no one will come us, will come here to, to really help us. Latin America is one of the most dangerous regions in the world to be a climate activist because they literally kill us daily in most of our countries.

[00:06:53] Catalina Santelices: I think that we Latinas have the strength to keep going in the climate activism, to keep moving forward, [00:07:00] and there’s so many examples in our region that gives us hope. Ecuador had a national referendum for deciding if the country will allow or not. An oil company inside a national park, and they said no.

[00:07:16] Catalina Santelices: The whole country decided that they want to protect that national park. And that’s one of the many examples that give me hope to continue my work. And for the Latinas, I really wish that we are able to break all the barriers [00:07:30] that keeps us aside from the climate solutions that we need. Because we as Latin American women, we are the only ones that are facing the realities in the front lines.

[00:07:40] Catalina Santelices: And who know… What we really need as a solution for us, um, what’s really gonna help us and our communities. We have different language even in Latin America. We share this common, like, soul, I think, and a spirit that really makes us connect with each other and keep [00:08:00] moving forward and don’t give up, even though we have to face that many floodings.

[00:08:06] Catalina Santelices: and extractivism in our communities daily. Yeah, you can find our circle in the website, hero. circle. app. Hero is this platform that will allow climate activists and that really believes in us by giving us the financial support to don’t have to have many side jobs, you know, because Latin America, it’s much needed to have a side job to really survive as a [00:08:30] young person.

[00:08:31] Catalina Santelices: So Hero is supporting us on that. that climate activists need the financial support. I was able to take away one of my side jobs because I’m a law student and I was doing three assistant professor jobs, which is a lot. But I was able to give up on them, on three of them actually, thanks to the support of Hero.

[00:08:56] Ben Hurst: Thank you. Thanks for listening to this quickie. This

[00:08:59] Maryam Pasha: [00:09:00] episode was created by our superstar podcast team at TEDxLondon. Until next time, stay

[00:09:05] Ben Hurst: curious.


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