Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO) was founded by two Zapotec women, Odilia Romero and Janet Martinez in 2016. CIELO is an Indigenous women-led, intergenerational organization that is combating racism towards Indigenous people by bringing visibility and resources to the Indigenous migrant communities. CIELO creates substantive solutions to the social, economic, and cultural challenges faced by the Indigenous community. We work on language revitalization by creating new spaces of engagement with Indigenous languages for younger generations. An example of this work is the Weaving Words and Rhymes; it celebrates Indigenous languages through music. CIELO also organized the first Indigenous literature conference by and for Indigenous communities in Los Angeles. Our most unique endeavors are our ongoing work with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to create a dialogue and awareness of indigenous communities residing in Los Angeles by conducting Cultural Awareness training with police officers.
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has had disproportionate effects on the undocumented indigenous people. CIELO created the Undocu-Indigenous fund to specifically address these challenges by allocating resources to support the well-being of Indigenous undocumented communities in Los Angeles. With the goal to outreach to the Indigenous communities in Los Angeles and allocate these funds to Indigenous communities during this pandemic. From the onset of the pandemic to January 2021 up til February 2022 CIELO was able to distribute 2.4 million dollars in COVID relief fund.
CIELO is fiscally sponsored by LAANE