On Wednesday, August 24th, CRECE and PROTECT team members in Puerto Rico met with Carmen Guerrero Pérez, the Director of the EPA’s Caribbean Environmental Protection Division–a department covering all of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition to the Director, the meeting was attended by Carmen Milagros Vélez Vega (Community Outreach and Translation Core Co-Leader of CRECE, Community Engagement Core Leader of PROTECT) and a team of her students, among others.
The team entered the meeting with intentions of building a stronger and more collaborative relationship with the EPA Caribbean Division. The team was also interested accessing filters with historical air quality data, a step which would allow the CRECE and PROTECT Centers to analyze more data, and, ultimately, obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the complex risks that air pollution may pose to infants in utero and/or postnatally.
After hearing more about the goals of PROTECT and CRECE, the Director expressed much interest in the work being carried out by the two centers and stated a desire to collaborate in the future. She also graciously agreed to the team’s proposition to gain access to the filters with historical air quality data. CRECE and PROTECT are extremely pleased with the outcome of this encounter and look forward to continued relations with Ms. Guerrero Pérez in the future.