2010 Heroes of the Monterey Bay Aquarium


by Vanessa Garcia

During the annual “Fiesta del Mar” event, the Monterey Bay Aquarium awarded Luis and Kinan Valdez from El Teatro Campesino, and Mexican supermodel Liliana Dominguez, as Heroe del Medio Ambiente (“Hero of the Environment”) for their work towards environmental conservation.

El Teatro Campesino developed and performed “Basta Basura! (“Enough Waste”) and “Watt a Waste”, two bilingual musical children’s actos, which addresses the importance of reducing energy waste, recycling, and reusing goods.  Producing Artistic Director, Kinan Valdez, wrote the acto in the similar fashion as those performed during the Delano grape strike.  Basta Basura! educated children on the consequences of throwing trash into the ocean.  According to Valdez, writing an environmental acto for children was much different than the Chicano theatre plays he’s written and directed.  However, the children responded really well to the actos because they were able to recognize how littering affects all the creatures of the ocean and the importance of environmental stewardship.

Mexican supermodel Liliana Dominguez was recognized for her efforts to preserve pristine coastal habitats in Mexico through her foundation Tribal-Tegua, as well as her work as a spokeswoman for WiLDCOAST’s campaign to save coral reefs at Cabo Pulmo, Baja California.  Her inspiration on environmental conservation came from the simple beauty of the earth.  According to Dominguez, she wanted to work toward preserving the environment for future generations.  She stated that you don’t need to be a scientist to work for the environment.  In fact, many organizations are always seeking volunteers for various conservations efforts. 

It just goes to show that everyone can take part in saving the environment and protecting the oceans. While “Fiesta del Mar” is a one-day event to celebrate the sea, if you would like more information about how you can protect the oceans visit www.MontereyBayAquarium.org.

Vanessa Garcia has written for Modern Latina since 2008, in addition to Live en Vivo, and 831 Magazine.  Many of her articles reflect her interests in art, music, culture, travel, and the environment.  Vanessa received her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA in Anthropology, and is currently finishing her Master’s as San Jose State University in Mass Communications.