November 29, 2017

Renowned Mexican Poet, Novelist and Environmentalist Homero Aridjis to Visit the U.S. for the Launch of His Newly Translated Books News of the Earth and María the Monarch

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For immediate Release

November 28, 2017



Sonia Rangel at

Sahar Al Nima at




Renowned Mexican Poet, Novelist and Environmentalist Homero Aridjis to Visit the U.S. for the Launch of His Newly Translated Books

News of the Earth and María the Monarch


Events to be held at St. John’s University in New York City and The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.


WASHINGTON, D.C- Homero Aridjis, Mexican poet, novelist and environmentalist, former Mexican ambassador to UNESCO, and President of PEN International (1997-2003) will present María the Monarch and News of the Earth, published by Mandel Vilar Press, during two events in New York and Washington, D.C. These events coincide with the recent arrival of millions of monarch butterflies to their overwintering habitat in the oyamel forests of central Mexico and the opening of the sites to visitors.  


María the Monarch (María la monarca) is an inspiring and beautifully illustrated children's story (7-12) featuring two valiant young girls and the legendary monarch butterflies that migrate from Canada and the northern US to overwinter in Aridjis’s village.


The book allows Aridjis to relive his childhood memories in Mexico and highlights the importance of saving this unique butterfly. Illustrated by Bologna Children's Book Fair Best Illustrator winner Juan Palomino, it also includes “The monarch: a tireless traveler” by Betty Ferber, an invaluable guide to the monarch’s life cycle, habitats and migration across North America, and the threats of herbicide use, logging and climate change that now endanger survival of the monarch butterfly and the migratory phenomenon.


News of the Earth (Noticias de la Tierra) presents a wide-ranging selection of Homero Aridjis’s own writings and pioneering activism in defense of nature and the environment. In 1985 Aridjis founded the Group of 100, Mexico’s most influential environmental group, composed of prominent personalities in the arts, culture and science, to raise awareness about the severity of environmental problems facing Mexico and to prod the government into action. As the Group’s president, Aridjis has led important fights, including stopping the annual slaughter of thousands of sea turtles in Mexican waters and preventing destruction of the pristine gray whale breeding habit in San Ignacio Lagoon, where Mitsubishi and the Mexican government planned to build the world’s largest solar evaporative salt factory. He carried out successful campaigns to force the Mexico City government to release air quality information when the city was the world’s most polluted capital, to halt national distribution of milk powder contaminated by fallout from Chernobyl, to thwart building of dams that would have flooded the Lacandon rain forest and destroyed Mayan archaeological sites, and to eliminate lead from gasoline in Mexico, to name but a few. News of the Earth makes a unique contribution to understanding why we must preserve our global environment, while providing valuable lessons learned by someone who has been on the front lines defending our planet for decades.

WHAT: Book presentation of News of the Earth and Maria the Monarch

WHO: Homero Aridjis, Mexican poet, novelist, environmental activist, former diplomat and President of PEN  International (1997-2003)

Betty Ferber, editor and translator of News of the Earth, author of “The monarch a tireless traveler,” International Coordinator of the Group of 100

St. John's University, GreenLatinos, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association, Americas for Conservation+Arts, and Benitez Strategies


Thursday, November 30th

St. John's University

5 pm
8000 Utopia Pkwy
Jamaica, NY 11439

Monday, December 4th   

National Press Club

6-8 pm
529 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20045   



New York:

Department of Languages and Literatures and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), St. John's University, Americas for Conservation+Arts and Benitez Strategies

Washington DC:

GreenLatinos, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association, Americas for Conservation+Arts, and Benitez Strategies


“This collection of his articles over more than thirty years of fighting to preserve our natural wonders will be an inspiration to future generations. “I worked alongside Homero Aridjis in landmark battles in Baja to save the gray whales' pristine birthing sanctuary and a vital coral reef from industrial development. Aridjis, Mexico's most renowned living poet, is an

international icon for his environmental activism.” -- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., author of Crimes Against Nature.

"Homero is one of the planet's great environmental heroes."--Jacob Scherr, Global Strategy & Advocacy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, D.C.

"Since the establishment of the Group of 100 in 1985, Homero Aridjis has been an inspiration to fellow environmentalists all over the world.”-- Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future, Co-Director of the Prince of Wales's Business & Sustainability Programme Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission between 2000 and 2009.

"No one in Mexico has made a more important contribution to protecting that country's environment, an effort that has had ripple effects throughout the world," ---Lester Brown, US environmentalist and founder of both the Worldwatch and Earth Policy institutes.

The Group of 100 is a movement of conscience that strives to change our relationship with nature. Thanks to this group, presided over by the saintly poet Homero Aridjis, in our world we can still enjoy the magic of monarch butterflies, sea turtles and gray whales. ---Alejandro Jodorowsky, Chilean-French filmmaker, playwright, actor, author, comics writer and spiritual guru.

 The great strength of Aridjis's work is the faith it transmits in a creative virtue of the world, pessimism notwithstanding, and in the possibility of saving it thanks to environmentalism. Aridjis's writings are not gratuitous, they are militant. Their source is the reality of the natural world.---J.M.G. Le Clézio, Nobel Prize in Literature 2008, in Le Nouvel Observateur.

"Our journey together to visit those great gentle creatures [the grey whales] was one I will live with forever."---Pierce Brosnan, actor and environmental activist.

About the Author: One of Latin America’s greatest living writers, Homero Aridjis is also extraordinary for his pioneering work as an environmental activist and his two-term stint as president of PEN International. Many of his forty-eight books of poetry and prose have been translated into fifteen languages.  The object of death threats for his work, he has received important literary and environmental prizes in Mexico, France, Italy, the United States and Serbia, including two Guggenheim Fellowships and the Millennium Prize for International Environmental Leadership, given by Mikhail Gorbachev. He has served as Mexico’s Ambassador to Switzerland, The Netherlands and UNESCO.

About Mandel-Vilar Press:  is the publishing arm of the non-profit Americas for Conservation + the Arts (AFC+A) dedicated to advancing diversity and conservation in publishing.


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