Eduardo Guevara is the Executive Director of Promotores Comunitarios del Desierto (PCD), a community based organization which primarily serves the Coachella Valley & Imperial County on environmental health and socio economic issues. Being at first only a translator and technical support assistant in the group, he became a full-blown activist on environmental justice when Mecca was affected by severe air quality issues that directly impacted his wife’s health and their son’s way of life. He has been all over the state, all the way up to Sacramento, to express community’s concerns and to establish a network of advocates.
He is also a staunch supporter of immigrant rights, leading his group to organize campaigns in the eastern Coachella valley on civic engagement, voter registration, and citizenship ready applicants, partnering with other local community based groups to host workshops on diverse immigration topics.
Eduardo Guevara served as the Community Chair of the Coachella Valley Environmental Justice Enforcement Task Force (the taskforce, along the on-line monitoring system www.ivan-coachella.org, is part of the IVAN model) from April 2012 to May 2014. In this capacity, he presented on the IVAN model in the ‘2012 Conference on Environmental Health’ of The California Wellness Foundation in San Francisco, CA. He has been involved in not only Eastern Coachella’s deployment of IVAN, but in IVAN deployments from Imperial all the way up to Fresno. As part of the capacity building process of the IVAN Model leaders, he represented the Coachella Valley in the First Annual IVAN Leadership Retreat in Wilmington, CA on February 2014. Following an initiative from both taskforce’s chairs, the scope of the taskforce was expanded to include the whole Coachella Valley and not only the Eastern part.
Being a strong network of advocates a crucial part of his work, he is a member of the “Justice Now” network that focuses on environmental justice issues through research, advocacy, and policy.
Seeing the lack of resources as an opportunity rather than a shortage, he started using social media as a way to document events, raise awareness and communicate with partners both state-wide and across the border, presently maintaining several Facebook profiles and groups to that effect. A de facto photojournalist of community events and issues, he was rarely seen without his trusted Nikon.
Co-founder of the first Coachella Valley Environmental Health Leadership Summit, he modeled it after the success of Comite Civico’s annual health summit in Imperial Valley on 2011. Seeing the summit’s success first hand (having actively participated in it), he began planning an event like that for the Coachella Valley since November 2011. Recognizing the support needed to move forward such an ambitious project, he had both his son Eduardo Guevara II and his wife Claudia Figueroa involved in an intensive capacity building process, having them participating substantially in the planning and implementation of the summit – the former helping to document the event and the later being a coordinator for volunteers and a panelist in one of the workshops. In 2014, he co-hosted the 2nd Annual Environmental Health Leadership Summit in Thermal, with Comite Civico and The Family Treehouse. Several members of the Coachella Valley Task Force, and members (or former members) of other IVAN deployments also participated in the 2014 summit.
He manages translation, graphic design, and information technology services not only for PCD but for other community groups and non-profits in Coachella and Imperial Valleys as well.
Eduardo was part of the “Cancer & the Environment Team” of the American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, in 2014.
Eduardo works as a full time Administrative Assistant and Postal Clerk in Charge at Joseph L. Chiriaco, Inc. (in Chiriaco Summit, CA), part time as the Office Manager at the Chiriaco Summit Water District, and serves in the Board of Directors of the General Patton Memorial Museum. In September 2014, Eduardo enrolled as a full time student at College of the Desert, aiming at a major in Business Administration.