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Hispanic Access Community Navigator Cohort Hispanic Access Community Navigator Cohort
16 May 2024

Hispanic Access Community Navigator Cohort Participants Awarded Community Wildfire Defense Grants

Category: News Releases

Hispanic Access Foundation is excited to announce two of our Community Navigator Cultivando: Side by Side cohort participants have been awarded a Community Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG) for round two in the amount of around $250,000 each. Instituto de Avance Integral Latino and Protectores de Cuencas Inc. will use this award to advance their work in wildfire prevention planning.

The goal of the Community Navigator Program launched in 2023 in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service is to serve as a bridge between 1,200+ Latino-serving community-based/Spanish-speaking organizations, and those at high risk of wildfires and extreme climate change, and the U.S. Forest Service.

“For more than a decade, Hispanic Access has catapulted our trust-based community networks into action by providing access, capacity, and the belief to create beneficial changes in their communities,” said Hispanic Access Foundation President and CEO Maite Arce. "We are thrilled that the organizations we supported in the applications for the CWDG were able to get the resources they need to address the climate crisis for their communities.”

Through the Cultivando: Side by Side mentorship program, Hispanic Access hopes to help local leaders like Avance Latino and Protectores de Cuenca build climate resilience within their communities by finding and accessing grant funding and capacity-building support. For 180 of the organizations, we are providing guidance and support in identifying funding eligibility, resources needed to apply for grant funds, and workshops and training sessions centered on building climate resilience and organizational capacity.

Protectores de Cuencas Inc.’s project “Landscape Scale Wildfire Prevention Planning for Southern Puerto Rico” will develop Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) for communities with a high risk of wildfires on the western section of the Guanica State Forest and in the Yauco and Guayanilla Municipalities. The Instituto de Avance Integral Latino will develop a new CWPP for the city of Montebello, CA. CWPPs and their equivalents are collaborative planning efforts intended for providing the community, however it may be defined in the plan, a way for reducing their wildfire risk and building resiliency to the impacts of wildfires. CWPP’s are an integral piece of helping communities implement the three goals of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy.

“About 70 percent of Latinos live in nature-deprived areas where the effects of climate change are affecting them the worst,” said Jessyca Saavedra, Community Navigator Program Director. “We hope the Community Navigator program continues to bridge the gap to the Forest Service and their resources so communities who need it the most can access climate resilience resources.”

Throughout the two-year program and during outreach activities, Hispanic Access is collecting data to capture the demand for program services and barriers experienced by community partners. Hispanic Access will work closely with the Forest Service to develop and deliver services and data collection with the goal of improving and scaling the impact of the program at large. To learn more about CNP, visit

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