Even if it pains me to imagine how things are back home in Puerto Rico at the moment, I know things will flourish again. The land will heal, but we need to help it.

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Diana Centeno
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Dear loved ones in the future,

I cannot even imagine how the world will be in the future. Humans are capable of wonderful things, but they are also capable of some that are not that great. Still, I really hope that we can all get together behind this cause to protect our environment for all of you, for all of us.

To my dear nieces, thankfully you are growing up in places that believe in and support the protection of our world, but I admit that sometimes I am filled with concern that you may not get the opportunities to see, experience and explore the world and its beauty. I worry that by the time all of you are old enough, so many wonderful things will just be in museums, movies, or written stories. It seems crazy to think that things will just disappear in our short lifetime. Everything usually feels so permanent, eternal, granted. But as I get older, I have witness how things can change pretty quickly, we want them or not. Simple things as phones, video players…even Blockbuster (we used to rent movies here because Netflix and Hulu did not exist yet) have changed so much or completely disappeared. And if I feel some sort of nostalgia for those material things, I cannot even start to describe how I feel about losing living things or the environment where I grew up… the mountains where I lived, the beaches where I spent so many awesome times with my friends, and all of those beautiful places that I hope I can take you all to visit someday. The truth is, I do not know if I will be able to.

If it was a consequence of our changing climate or ocean temperatures rising, we do not know yet. But on September 20, 2017 Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as one of the most devastating hurricanes in the history of the island. Nothing looks the same. The whole landscape was scrapped, erased from the earth. Even if it pains me to imagine how things are back home in Puerto Rico at the moment, I know things will flourish again. The land will heal, but we need to help it. I have seen how you are all growing to be caring and loving little ladies. And I hope you continue to care for everyone and everything around you, it will not be easy, but I promise to help you along the way. Please grow up to be healthy, respectful and kind and continue to be wonderful beings. I love you all with all my heart.

To my future children, you are still not in plans. But if you do exist in the future, please know that you were born with all the love and hope that a human being can have for another. I hope we taught you well, not only to care for your family but also for every living thing. To not be wasteful and to be confident and honorable. I hope we can all enjoy the beauty of the world together, I want to show you all the different things that make this planet so special and unique. The different landscapes that provide us with unique challenges and happiness. I really hope you get to see this. I will walk next to you, teaching you, learning from you, supporting you, encouraging you for as long as I can. I hope my generation worked hard to preserve all of these wonderful things. I really, really hope this will be true. But if we did not, I am sorry. Whatever scenario you encounter, DO NOT GIVE UP. There is beauty in existing, in sharing. Things may not be easy, they have never been. But is that challenge, that uncertainty, that makes it more valuable.

To all of you in the future, please know that we are trying. A lot of people are trying their hardest to preserve a beautiful, natural world for you. So you can meet and experience the wonders of nature at your own time. We are still facing resistance, politics are still a big part of the “game”, but more and more of us are working to educate, build, safe, protect, or do what is in our power to promote and obtain a sustainable lifestyle. I will admit that I have days in which I do not want to hear the news, or read articles because it frustrates me how bad this issue is being handled, how something so global has been assigned to particular sectors in society, creating a larger division of opinions. But I still believe, I still think that everyday that I stand in front of my students by my “nagging” or by their interest, they will learn something that will help them have a choice. That they will remember some part of it and will be better prepared to make choices that will protect the world they live in. Just one choice, one behavior changed, or one act towards a sustainable world that they make will mean that we are one step closer to provide you all in the future with a healthy and diverse environment. Please, always care.

Love,

DCCD

P.S. To the future me: “Fighting!”

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