Living Downstream

stay out waste resizeIn this podcast, “Trailer Park Activists of Coachella Valley Fight for Health,” you heard about the plight of Eastern Coachella Valley trailer park residents who face health issues because they live close to pesticide-laden fields and illegal dumps, live in overcrowded mobile home parks and a lack of access to safe drinking water, electricity, proper sanitation and green spaces. 

However, rising education rates and promotores (community-based health activists and educators) bring hope to this region. In addition, organizations like Pueblo Unido work to build sustainable communities in the Eastern Coachella Valley. For more information about the demographics in Coachella Valley, the studies conducted by California institutions, promotores and Pueblo Unido, we have provided additional links below. 

[Image: A hand-written sign warns Duroville mobile home park residents in Thermal, California, to stay away from a waste pond on the neighboring property. (Credit: Roberto (Bear) Guerra, 2010)]

In this podcast, journalist Ruxandra Guidi says researchers found that income inequality has everything to do with the fact that migrant populations typically face extreme levels of environmental hazards. But what are the disparities in poverty rates in Coachella Valley between different races and ethnicities? How much of Coachella Valley is made up of migrants? The population of Coachella is 97.6% Hispanic or Latino, with 39.3% of its residents born outside of the country, according to Data USA, a database of public U.S. government data displayed comprehensively through charts and statistics. Data USA also breaks down many other statistics about the economy, health, diversity, education, housing and living in Coachella. 

Journalist Ruxandra Guidi also writes more about specific promotores in Eastern Coachella Valley, like Griselda Barrera and Eduardo Guevara, and the work of Pueblo Unido in Eastern Coachella Valley for High Country News. 

Pueblo Unido, the organization in Eastern Coachella Valley creating a healthier and more sustainable model for a mobile park community, has several projects underway including its Rural Infrastructure Program, Rural Habitat initiative, CDC Community Driven Model and more which the organization discusses in depth on its website. 

Promotores help their communities as community organizers, doctors and nurses, advising on ways to improve the system and helping researchers assess the quality of life. However, promotores are not only making a difference in Eastern Coachella Valley. The Center for Well-Being in Santa Rosa, Calif. also created a program built around Promotores de Salud to foster community leaders who will encourage healthier environments in local communities. In addition, Planned Parenthood created its own Promotores de Salud programs in Los Angeles, supporting its Latino community. 

In this podcast, Guidi says more and more young people who grew up in the mobile home parks of Eastern Coachella Valley are going to college. Desert Sun provides an article discussing the correlation between education and the economy and the efforts of Coachella districts to support students’ learning. According to the article, Coachella has seen increased education levels with 32 percent of students graduating from high school in 2000 compared to nearly half of students graduating from high school in 2014. 

University of California, Davis is one of several institutions creating ongoing assessments of the local quality of life in Eastern Coachella Valley. The UC Davis Center for Regional Change provides a summary of their study about the environmental hazards in Eastern Coachella Valley as well as the full report of its findings. 


A quick guide to the resources linked on this page:

Environmental News

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    November 14, 2019

    California Burning Podcast: The Science of Fire Behavior

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    November 05, 2019

    'Halloween Do-Over' Brings Joy to Healdsburg After Fire

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    October 23, 2019

    Survivors of Camp Fire and Tubbs Fire Look Back and Ahead

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    Fire Survivors React to Power Shut-off

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    October 03, 2019

    Smokey the Bear Has Affected Forest Management for Decades

    Fire season in California has been getting longer and more intense. One major reason for the severity is fire suppression. Putting out fires is a message officials have touted for more than a century. But as Matt Fidler, the creator of the new radio series “California Burning” tell us, the message…
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    Sep 06, 2019

    Study Shows Climate Change Could Threaten Oyster Habitat

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    Aug 29, 2019

    Controlled Burns Could Help Prevent California's Megafires

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    Gray Whale Mystery

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    Jun 27, 2019

    Experts Showcase Fire Resistant Building Materials

    As we head into summer, homeowners are looking for ways to protect their properties from wildfire. KRCB's Adia White attended an event at the Santa…
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    Jun 12, 2019

    Why Food Reformers Have Mixed Feelings About Eco-Labels

    Dan Charles June 12, 2019 Hear this Morning Edition Story Take a walk through the grocery story; the packages are talking to you, proclaiming their…
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    Jun 08, 2019

    Living Downstream: The Klamath Water Wars

    This is the story of a 15-year conflict over what would be the biggest dam removal ever, a modern cowboys and Indians tale that shows how victories…
  • Jun 07, 2019

    Against All Odds, Paradise Students Graduate on Home Campus

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    Jun 04, 2019

    Grist Finds Link Between Pollution and Infant Death in San Bernardino

    The online shopping economy appears to be having a deadly impact on children’s health in San Bernardino County. A new investigation by Grist Magazine…
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    May 30, 2019

    Citizen Input Sought for Santa Rosa's Future

    In 2009, Santa Rosa created a state-mandated plan that looked ahead to the year 2035. The plan made certain assumptions, and was created to optimize…
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    May 29, 2019

    Sonoma County Inspects Rural Properties for Fire Safety

    Sonoma County is inspecting homes and properties to make sure that owners have cleared weeds and cut overgrown grass on their lots. This is the first…
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    May 24, 2019

    KRCB TV Highlights the Wine Industry’s Unsung Heroes

    From the history of the region to the people behind the scenes, there are many untold stories about winemaking in the North Bay. In the Independent…
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    May 23, 2019

    Local Activists Bring Green New Deal Principles to Sonoma

    Environmental activists and concerned community members rallied at a town hall last week to discuss options for confronting climate change. The event…

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