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Colorado Latinx Non-Profit

Unveiling the Invisible: A Closer Look at Suncor's Environmental Impact

In the heart of Commerce City, Colorado, where the community breathes the same air as the Suncor Refinery, an unsettling truth lingers. For over a year, Cultivando, alongside passionate environmental justice partners and community members, embarked on a groundbreaking mission. Their goal? To lift the veil on the hidden dangers lurking in the very air we breathe.

Enter AIRE, short for Air Quality Investigation and Research for Equity, a beacon of hope amidst the clouds of uncertainty. Armed with determination, science, and an unwavering commitment to their community, Cultivando and its allies set out to uncover the truth behind the ominous plumes billowing from the Suncor Refinery.

This wasn't just any research project; it was a movement—a rallying cry for awareness, education, unity, and action. With a mobile monitor crisscrossing the community every fortnight, guided by the voices of the people, AIRE left no stone unturned. From Commerce City to Globeville, Elyria to Swansea, every corner was touched by the pursuit of justice.

But what did they find? Elevated levels of pollution. Radioactive particles dancing in the wind. A stark reminder that the air we often take for granted is far from pristine. Olga Gonzalez, the fearless leader behind Cultivando, didn't mince words. "The Suncor oil refinery has been polluting our community for nearly a century," she declared, her voice echoing with a sense of urgency. "Expired permits, outdated regulations—enough is enough."

For the residents of Commerce City, the struggle is real. The air they breathe isn't just a statistic; it's a matter of life and death. Toxic exposure knows no bounds, creeping into homes, schools, and playgrounds with impunity. But amidst the chaos, there is hope—a glimmer of light on the horizon.

With knowledge comes power, and Cultivando understands this better than anyone. Through their tireless efforts, they empower their community with the tools to fight back. From purple monitors nestled in homes to grassroots advocacy campaigns, every action serves a singular purpose: to protect the health and wellbeing of those most vulnerable.

But the fight is far from over. As Gonzalez reminds us, the battle against environmental injustice is a marathon, not a sprint. "We've had community members who've lived here for decades," she reflects, her voice tinged with sadness. "The cumulative effect of living under these conditions—it's a burden no one should bear."

So, where do we go from here? The path forward is clear: accountability, action, and above all, solidarity. Together, we can rewrite the narrative, reclaiming the right to clean air and a brighter future for generations to come. It's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work—because when we stand united, there's nothing we can't achieve.

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