About Us/Who We Are

L.A. Rooted  is a grassroots summer youth program which aims to cultivate youth leadership in the areas of environmental stewardship, community empowerment, food sovereignty and self-care.

L.A. Rooted had its first summer youth program in July of 2013.  It was started by Rio Contreras and Johanna Iraheta, members of a cyclists of color collective called Raices Roots.  In September 2012 Raices Roots set out to reconnect with their Latin American ancestry and local autonomous communities in Mexico and Guatemala.  L.A. Rooted is a manifestation of the trip’s goal to share the empowering experience of the trip with other low-income communities of color in Los Angeles.  Our intent is to provide alternative knowledge and practices for youth, in order to address the conditions of growing up in unhealthy environments with unsafe choices and fractured communities.

Many low-income youth of color live and work in industrious locations infused with toxins from cars and factories. Youth constantly face the threat of sexually-transmitted infections and diseases, unwanted pregnancies, obesity, diabetes and heart-related problems.  Our youth also live in communities fractured by nations, race, sexuality, gangs, class and gentrification.  These divisions have inspired us to create decentralized radical education to support our youth leaders and foster unity in our communities.


Youth learn basket weaving from a Tongva elder during L.A. Rooted's 2013 summer camp.

Youth learn basket weaving from a Tongva elder during L.A. Rooted’s 2013 summer camp.

  1. Yessenia Nunez

    I want to sign up for this and the application wouldn’t open because I’m using a phone not computer but I want to submit an application because there are only 15 available spots. I also signed up with Mx.Contreras when she was a substitute for Excel science for 6th grade.

    • Hi Yessenia, I spoke with your mother earlier today and she said you were still interested in the program. You can give me a call tomorrow at our google voice number (323-452-3707) or at the number I left with your mother. I can go ahead and register you over the phone. Thanks for wanting to be a part of our program. Looking forward to meeting you!

  2. I could not open the application. I have a 16 year old son who is interested.

  3. Hello,

    What age range must a child be to participate in your youth summer camp?

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