Refugees and climate change focus of virtual talk May 2

Staff Writer
Published: 4/26/2021 9:07:55 AM

There are any number of reasons, according to the Pioneer Valley Interfaith Refugee Action Group (PVIRAG), that so many refugees from Central America are arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. Aside from violence, poverty and hunger, climate change is also taking a heavy toll.

On Sunday, May 2, PVIRAG, along with a co-sponsoring group, Climate Action Now, will host “Escapa por tu Vida” (Escape for your life), an online presentation on the environmental problems driving many people from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in particular to the southern U.S. border.

According to the program’s sponsors, those three countries, located in Central America’s “Dry Corridor,” are increasingly struggling with “hotspot” temperatures, drought, deforestation and sea-level rise, “driving poor people from their homes and subsistence farms to our southern border.”

The keynote speaker for this presentation, which takes place from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Zoom, is Pat Hynes, former director and now a board member of the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice, based in Greenfield. An environmental writer and former professor of environmental health, Hynes has won numerous awards for her writing, teaching, and applied research, according to program notes.

People can register for the program online at

Steve Pfarrer can be reached at


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