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Friday Talk At Rocky Mountain Institute Focuses On Central American Migration

Nov 1, 2019

A farmer in El Salvador.
Credit Courtesy of Trees, Water & People


Friday night the Rocky Mountain Institute is hosting a talk about the causes of migration out of Central America. Sebastian Africano is the executive director of Trees, Water & People, a Colorado-based organization that works to address those root causes.

Before giving the talk, he stopped by the Aspen Public Radio studios to talk about those issues, and ways to make change.


Africano says when crops fail or simply aren’t worth what they used to be, people move to big cities in the region. It’s often hard to find work in those cities, and sometimes even a safe place to live. Then, later down the line, those people end up heading north.

“Migration is a multifaceted issue and there's no silver bullet,” Africano said. “There's no one thing that we can fix. But we focus on improving quality of life and standards of living.”

While his talk will address a variety of issues and what his organization is doing to help make change, he hopes to leave attendees with a sense of empathy.

“At the end of the day, we're talking about human beings and families here,” Africano said. “So just to think about what it would take for you to grab your family and say, ‘Kids, we're leaving everything that we have behind and starting a 2,000 mile hike and we don't know what's at the end of it, but we hope it's a better life.’”


Africano’s talk will take place at the Rocky Mountain Innovation Center in Basalt at 5 p.m.