Chanting “climate change now, don’t let us down,” students of various ages marched toward city hall holding signs pertaining to climate change issues as part of a global effort on the issue.
Students from across the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district took part in the Global Climate event, promoting sustainability and environmental awareness in a worldwide movement on Friday morning. Groups of students marched from both Thomas Jefferson T-STEM Early College High School and Buell Central campuses to Pharr City Hall. Elementary and high school students across five district campuses were all present for the march, gathering at the two campuses before marching and converging at city hall.
Spilling into the streets, the students made a brief trek toward city hall. Signs showed the dangers of not addressing global warming, the face and heart of the movement 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, and messages empowering the youth to take action. Over 150 countries had climate strike marches according to their website.
Amber Orozco, 16, spoke up during the event, addressing the need to address the global issue and youth involvement.
“We’re taking a big step (to) show these little ones we want a new environment …” Orozco said after the march. “We just want to show these kids, we can make a difference.”
Focusing on issues such as deforestation and pollution and its harm to the environment is why it’s important to march, she said. Raising awareness on reusing items and recognizing the seriousness of climate change are also part of the goals of Friday morning, she added.
“Everybody’s out here, everybody’s making a change, everybody’s wanting to do something for the world, and it just (seems) that I’m not the only one here,” Orozco said.
Buell Central Principal Mario Bracamontes said their campus deals with sustainability goals with its curriculum and the event Friday followed a global movement.
Science teacher Felix Arevalo said in class they were teaching and learning about climate change, with this event arising from the campus principal inviting other schools to participate in the march after hearing about it.
Floods, droughts and temperature shifts are all issues that will affect future generations, Arevalo said. Instilling awareness in students and encouraging society to find alternatives to current practices are some of the goals of the event.
This movement also helps empower these students, many who cannot vote, to persuade and make change, he said.
“(When) people know about this, then they know that what’s happening all over the world with other kids from the world…then they’re going to be a part of it too,” Arevalo said.