LCAN is the national expression of El Puente’s commitment to environmental justice. It is guided by two of El Puente’s twelve Fundamental Principles, that of “Respect” (for all life, as well as our earth) and “Peace & Justice”, (requiring El Puente members to “rise up for human rights, beauty and the celebration of the sacred”). El Puente’s Human Rights Action Platform (HRAP) underscores and calls for “a total commitment to reclaim and restore our environment.”
Championed by El Puente’s President, Luis Garden Acosta, El Puente launched LCAN on February 28, 2013 in Puerto Rico by convening and facilitating (with the support of Island leaders churches, and organizations) Puerto Rico’s first Leadership Summit on Climate Change. “El Encuentro” engaged 200 leaders representing, virtually, all sectors of Puerto Rican society and fostered the Puerto Rican Governor’s signature on five Executive orders in support of a proactive Island-wide approach to climate change. Taken collectively, the Executive Orders lead all stateside governors in climate change policy action.
Employing “El Encuentro” in Puerto Rico as both inspiration and model, El Puente is building LCAN by organizing leadership summits in stateside cities with major Puerto Rican/Latino communities. The “Encuentros” will draw from the participants the priorities of a plan that can be further developed into a systemic and strategic plan of action, modeled on El Puente’s experience transforming its home community to a “Green Light District ”. El Puente will create a network of leaders emerging from these “Encuentros”, solidifying LCAN as a major Latino voice in support of national policies to assist the people of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican/Latino communities stateside as well as the entire nation in climate change mitigation, adaptation and resiliency.