Americas for Conservation + the Arts (AFCA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Boulder Colorado. Irene Vilar, an environmental activist and author, founded AFCA in 2007. AFCA is an environmental activist organization that works through two subsidiaries to project its work; the Americas Latino Eco-Festival and the Mandel Vilar Press, the book-publishing arm of AFCA.
Irene Vilar, executive director of AFCA, is best known for her book Impossible Motherhood, Testimony of an Abortion Addict in which she writes about how she had 15 abortions over a 16 year period. Notable supporters of the AFCA include the National Resource Defense Council, World Wildlife Fund, One World One Water, The Climate Reality Project, Environmental Defense Fund, Bonfils Stanton Foundation and Audubon Rockies.
Irene Vilar is the granddaughter of Lolita Lebron, a leftist Puerto Rican separatist terrorist. Lebron was one of four gunmen who entered the United States Capitol shooting automatic pistols at Congressmen yelling, “Viva Puerto Rico libre” in 1954. During the shooting, five U.S. Representatives were wounded. Lebron was later convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon and released by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
In 2007, Irene Vilar founded AFCA to promote “environmental social justice” and conservation through the promotion of the arts. In 2014, AFCA founded the Americas Latino Eco Festival. In 2015, AFCA founded Mandel Vilar Press as their publishing arm to promote book authors that it claims “have been overlooked by corporate publishers in order to majoritize historically marginalized voices.”
Americas Latino Eco Festival
The Americas Latin Eco-Festival is an annual environmental conference focused on the Latino community that claims attendance of about 10,000 persons. The conference is co-sponsored by EarthJustice, GreenLatinos and Conservation Colorado. AFCA holds the Americas Latino Eco Festival as a “Latino-themed” event that is used to assorted left-wing policy views. In an interview about the Americas Latino Eco Festival Irene Vilar said she grew up in a family who, “read the Bible as Marxist text and struggled for social justice.” In another interview Vilar explained that the festival promotes, “clean air (a world without coal), natural foods (no GMOs), and water justice (having access to clean water and not having to pay a corporation for it).” The festival ran a negative balance in 2013 and one in 2014 but secured sponsorships from corporations like Whole Foods, Telemundo, and, Patagonia to assist in the shortfall.
In organizing the event, Irene Vilar felt that there were not enough organizations in Boulder that represented the “brown face” of the country. Another major reason for organizing the festival was to educate “white” communities on environmental issues to validate the Latino community. According to Irene Vilar, Latino cultures are intrinsically ecological minded due to their indigenous heritage in South America and that “Mother Earth” has been a component of the North American Hemisphere’s Latino culture for 20,000 years.
Mandel Vilar Press
AFCA’s other subsidiary, Mandel Vilar Press, publishes books centered on the “green economy,” “green jobs,” post-apocalyptic environmental scenarios and, books about saving butterflies, whales and sea turtles. In order to promote books supposedly passed over by corporate publishers, AFCA created Mandel Vilar Press (MVP) in 2015. One of the books published by MVP, called Oedipus in Brooklyn and Other Stories and written by Blume Lempel, tells the story of a mother who begins an incestuous relationship with her blind son. In another portion of Lempel’s book she writes about, “taboo sexual longings … between two cousins raised in the same home.” The same book, by Lempel, was praised by critics, like Cynthia Ozick (in Lilith magazine), as being, “a splendid surprise … of a brilliantly robust Yiddish American writer.”