Last week Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO), allocated 73 grocery gift cards to Indigenous families in response to the massive loss of employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to our team’s effort and key community members we were able to allocate the gift cards for groceries to Indigenous families in less than 48 hours.
The outreach for the grocery gift cards combined with the Undocu-Indigenous Fund, has allowed CIELO to collect a small data sample of 111 families served. This is particularly important due to the massive undercount that many Indigenous populations face in the metropolis of Los Angeles and the lack of data on Indigenous displaced people. CIELO is uniquely positioned to gather this data given its connections with the urban indigenous networks. Being able to share the large diversity found in Los Angeles is especially exciting for us, because we had the opportunity to be in solidarity with many Indigenous peoples from different parts of the continent.
The graphics produces from the data we gathered show a large diversity of Indigenous people not only from Mexico but also from Guatemala living in Los Angeles. The pie chart is filled with different colors to represent the towns or aldeas people are coming from. These graphics serve as a reminder of the cultural diversity in our Indigenous communities and the linguistic diversity in Los Angeles.
As we outreached to households we gathered more than data, our team heard the stories of the individuals impacted by the pandemic. Each and every story shared through our phone calls, at our office, and in front of many of their homes impacted our team. Hearing community members’ stories stressed the importance of our work, many shared the difficulty they faced in accessing financial assistance through other programs. By working within the unique Indigenous networks that exist in Los Angeles and empowering community members, we are able to create a meaningful impact and address calls for assistance that might otherwise go unserved. To date we have been in solidarity with approximately 111 families. One of the recipient’s words summed up the sentiment of many Indigenous people receiving the solidarity funds distributed by CIELO “El pueblo cuidará del pueblo.” With this urgent reminder, we will continue doing work that centers itself in Indigenous communities.
Director of Programs