Letters from Ocean Heroes
A Letter from Diego Arreola Fernández: My Voice - My Superpower to Change the World!
April 5, 2021
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.” - Mark Twain
For me, that second day was June 30th, 2019, when I found my vocation.
Standing in front of notable businesspeople, scientists and devoted activists from all over the world at the final ceremony of that year’s Ocean Heroes Bootcamp in Vancouver, Canada, a spark was born in me.
I realized it was my duty to speak and inspire in favor of our Mother Nature. From that moment on, I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone and I’ve used my voice to shape the change I wish to see in the world.
From hosting workshops with adults, organizing recycling activities with kids from Mexico, and giving lectures to high school students from California; to participating in the Global Youth Climate Challenges, hosted by the Republic of Korea’s National Council on Climate and Air Quality, I’ve had the honor of motivating people to adopt a conscious mindset and work altogether to restore our planet’s health.
With the same spirit, at the beginning of 2020 I started my nonprofit organization: Green Speaking!
Using a combination of education, science, and impactful communication, my team and I give children and youth the confidence necessary for them to become advocates for earth’s well-being, empowering them to use their talents and skills in favor of both our planet and society.
We understand the importance of speaking up for earth, of giving a strong voice to our Mother Nature, and to all of the animal species that are suffering from our selfish decisions as a society. That is precisely why we recommend our community to start with environmental activism by understanding our beautiful nature; then learning about the current threats it is facing, such as global warming, the loss of biodiversity and plastic pollution; and finally we encourage them to find their own paths and talents to become great leaders and eradicate those threats.
In the upcoming years, we aim to also become a global platform that supports frontline and underserved communities from around the world, making them feel safe by amplifying and empowering their voices, and boosting their opportunities.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have successfully transitioned into virtual workshops and lectures, creating algo educational content to inform people about environmental topics, problems and solutions in a fun way. With this purpose, I’ve interviewed some of my great friends from Ocean Heroes Bootcamp, such as Hannah Testa and Robbie Bond, to share their amazing work and stories with Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries!
With Robbie, I also developed a business project to tackle plastic pollution, participating in the Conrad Challenge along with other four notable Ocean Heroes from all over the world forming the Ghost Net & Gear Busters! We were recently recognized as Conrad Innovators! If you want to learn more about our project, you should definitely check Robbie’s latest blog “Collaboration and Camaraderie to Combat Plastic Pollution”, where he addresses the details of our enterprise.
After a year of focusing on environmental advocacy thoroughly, both individually and through Green Speaking, in October 2020 I had the honor of obtaining the Brower Youth Award, by the Earth Island Institute, being recognized as a young environmental leader along with other five outstanding activists throughout North America! You can watch the awards video here.
In the same context, last February I had the honor of speaking with my fellow awardee, Danielle Boyer, an outstanding educator, at GreenBiz 21, a prestigious conference to unveil the multinational companies’ ecological agendas and point out sustainable solutions. I was amazed to participate along with notable leaders such as Paul Polman and Bill Gates!
Last but not least, I was recently selected as a finalist for the Start Now, Start Simple Awards, which highlights the work of entrepreneurs, public speakers and artists who strived to create better opportunities in the midst of a global pandemic. I turned 18 in May, so I am one of the youngest participants!
I am very happy about all these opportunities, and I am so joyful when I see the community that I've been able to establish.
My next goal is to obtain a scholarship to study international relations abroad, hopefully in Canada or in the US, so that I can become a diplomat, establish more assertive connections, and learn from other people’s perspectives on environmental problems.
I’m also very determined to enhance my ventures and expand my community of Green Speakers!
I guess that’s all for now my dear Ocean Heroes, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any advice, help, if you want to bring a Green Speaking workshop to your community, or just chat! 😉