Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory


The Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory (AIUP) exists as an autonomous school to decolonize the education of Indigenous children in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The creation of the Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory land based learning school, began with the mission of the Tzicatl Community Development Corporation, it’s parent subsidiary, to advance the rights of Indigenous Peoples, the reparation of community and advocacy for healthy ecosystems to cultivate Indigenous education and culture in relation with ancestral lands. 

Established in 2002 the Semillas del Pueblo ecosystem includes two 501c3 nonprofit organizations, Tzicatl Community Development Corporation and Semillas Sociedad Civil. Tzicatl CDC was established to develop, and care for the land and facilities needed to create autonomous Indigenous educational space. Semillas Sociedad Civil was established to petition the local and state government authorities to open and develop the charter school. Due to a unique facilities inequity in California, certain legislation was established allowing charter school operators to manage two related nonprofit entities to develop facilities to be leased to charter schools that would qualify for rent reimbursement funding.

The Semillas del Pueblo organizational ecosystem was initially community-created to resolve one central concern, how do they decolonize the education of our children as an affirmation of their Peoples’ self-determination? After over a decade of community organizing at local, nation and international levels a small group of Indigenous educators and cultural leaders in East Los Angeles built upon decades of intergenerational work towards autonomous and independent models of educational self-determination. 

Today, Tzicatl CDC has grown to provide school support services to their own school, manages the LA Countywide Native Ways 2 College program and the upcoming American Indian Teacher Fellowship program. Semillas Sociedad Civil carries out its mission through the public charter school, Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory. Centered by the charter school, the Semillas del Pueblo ecosystem has grown to address related and interrelated basic needs rooted in Indigenous Peoples learning, land and life.

In May of 2022, the Head of School at the Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory, Marcos Aguilar, reached out to NDN Collective in need of a loan to buy a land parcel as part of their region-wide approach to land reclamation and resurgence in so-called Los Angeles, California, traditionally the home of the Tongva (Gabrieliño Shoshone). NDN Fund worked very closely with Marcos and had the loan underwritten, presented to the Loan Committee and approved to close on the contracted date of July 22, 2022. Our speed was critical given how quickly land exchanges hands in LA among speculators and developers. With the land now secured, their land-based learning plan has been put into practice in partnership with the school’s co-founders the Gabrieliño Shoshone Tribal Council of Southern California.