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Semillas' Historic Achievement in Los Angeles

Community schools prepares for another 10 years of creating and advancing educational opportunities for Indigenous children

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: December 28, 2012


Semillas' Historic Achievement in Los Angeles


On December 16, 2010, the principals, teachers, parents and students of Semillas Community Schools gathered at the campus of Anahuacalmecac International Preparatory High School of North America to celebrate Semillas Community Schools' 10 years of service and advocacy through Indigenous consciousness-based education for Native children in Los Angeles.

Through its work, Semillas has successfully generated a new design of education for underserved Indigenous children living across North America. In this extraordinary evening, Semillas' Principal, Minnie Ferguson, and Principal, Marcos Aguilar, were honored to present awards to three long-time supporters, David and Emily Lynch of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace (commonly known as DLF), UCLA History Professor Dr. Juan Gomez-Qui??ones, and LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia, for their generous support and helping to keep Indigenous education alive for community members of Los Angeles.

This exclusive and intimate gathering began with the welcoming rhythmic beats of native drums and harmonies of native flute by fusion band Aztlan Underground. Everyone enjoyed a special meal of corn atole along with traditional hot chocolate, freshly steamed black mole corn tamales, and other ancestral foods. Guests were treated to the uplifting voices of Semillas' student traditional Aztec singers and dancers.

Students, parents, teachers, supporters were delighted to partake in a special group meditation session guided by Transcendental Meditation instructor Lynn Kaplan of the David Lynch Foundation. Also included in the group meditation was Aztec elder and spiritual guide Tata Cuaxtle of Guerrero, Mexico and Master Zhong Xue Chao, a daoist monk visiting from the famed Wudang Mountains of China.

A short film about Semillas by the International Baccalaureate was screened publicly for the first time, which gave a window to the daily life of a student at Semillas.
Semillas represents two community-based charter schools in East Los Angeles, Xinaxcalmecac Academia Semillas del Pueblo (grades K-8), and Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory High School of North America (grades 9-12). Anahuacalmecac and Xinaxcalmecac have been IB World Schools since the summer of 2009 where IB Primary Years Programme and Middle Years Programme are offered that focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside, and where students are encouraged to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers.

Throughout the night, one-of-a-kind Indigenous art pieces from around the continent were displayed for a silent auction. Guests also had an opportunity to purchase specially crafted wool shawls and throws handmade in the ancestral weaving methods native to the continent with a back strap loom by the famed Aztec weavers of the highlands of the volcano of Popocatepetl. Local graphic artists and designers from East Los Angeles were proud to add specially designed pieces to support Semillas' ongoing fundraising efforts.

Semillas del Pueblo was started in 2002 with the vision that the children of the Los Angeles community deserved a dignified education that does not strip them of their spirit, language or culture. Semillas seeks to cultivate wise, community-engaged and internationally-minded youth, ready to assume leadership and champion their communities' causes.

The schools also provide a haven for students to cultivate intellectual and social potential to become future doctors, lawyers, artists, entrepreneurs and educators. Semillas strives to provide a strong foundation for future generations through a powerful education so they become conscious, whole and capable individuals that can guide with ancestral clarity from the coming seven generations. In the eyes of Semillas, to educate is to plant the seeds of Indigenous ancestors in the minds of the next generation.

For more information, visit www.dignidad.org.

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