Ansel’s last day 

So today was my last day at the Pitzer native youth 2 college program, overall I had really fun at this program. I really benefited from all the college classes and learned so many new things. I made so many connections that will last even longer than just this program, not only with students but also with my mentors. I learned so much from these mentors and I just want to thank Scott and everyone in the program for giving me this opportunity to participate here. My favorite part of the program was having fun with everyone and learning at wishtoyo


Ansel @ Wishtoyo/Limu

Something that I took from our trip to the island of Limu was how deep of a connection I realized I have with people I would of considered strangers a couple days before. Something about the Island just brought us all much closer and really started up the fun for the rest of our time in this program. My biggest take away from our stay at Wishtoyo was something that uncle Johnny shared with me while we were in our mens ceremony. My biggest take away from being at the island of Limu was being able to discuss really important issues and being able to work on the youth declaration. Learning from both places felt very similar because everywhere that we stayed whether it was Wishtoyo or Limu I felt open to express myself and discussing issues one a very critical level with like minded individuals that I don’t think I would be able to do anywhere else.

Ansels traditions

An object that I would put on an altar that has deep meaning to me and represents something much more than it actually does would be a tea strainer. A tea strainer makes me think of my mother because she is always making me and my family tea whenever we are sick and making tea and helping people is something she really cares about. My mother taking care of me while I’m sick is a tradition that I really value because there is so much love involved in her taking care of me rather than some doctor just doing their job. A tradition that I would want to create would be making tea with my entire family and my mom passing on her knowledge to the rest of us but I feel like spending this family time together would bring us so much closer together.

Ansel on day maquile

So this morning we played four ancestral Hawaiian games that Hector Pacheco shared with us. The games required a lot of upper body strength and because I was sore from working out yesterday I didn’t really do to well. Then on the spear throw I was the one who threw my spear the furthest. I really enjoyed looking up different scholarships and being exposed to resources that are really going to benefit me on my pursuit to college. I actually already figured out a scholarship I am going to be working on this week. I didn’t really put to much thought into touching the Human hearts and lungs because I did it recently in another program but I still made sure to be very respectful while dealing  with the organs. What really got me thinking today was thinking about traditions that I have with my family and when I put some thought into it my family doesn’t really have many. One of the ones that we do have and I truly appreciate is that every time one of my family members or I is sick my mom makes teas that really make me feel better. Its not just the tea that makes me feel good, Its the love that my mom puts into that makes the real difference.


Here are some of the pictures from yesterday.

Ansels crazy brain

So today my head has been everywhere because we have done so many activities that got me thinking. So I just want to talk about the part of the day that I found the most valued. I really enjoyed speaking about the quote in our writing class. “until lions have their historians, the hunt will always glorify the hunter” this quote really got me thinking about how it directly relates to me because I feel like Native Americans are like the lions and our oppressors are the white people and we need to get an education so we can fill the spots of the historians and our people can share our story the right way.

.ansel pic2

Ansel on day 3

In the Morning we used all the skills we learned in yesterdays martial arts game in todays native version of capture the flag. We had to resort to a tie breaker by doing the little martial arts competition and I won again and I received a gift from Hector our instructor which was a bracelet. We also did this really helpful activity in the computer lab where we had to research 5 colleges I want to apply to and I just learned a lot if information that I didn’t know before. I researched the graduation rates of Native Americans in college and I learned about different majors that these colleges have, some of them really appeared to my interest. Today what Saginaw Grant spoke to us about had a huge impact on me. It had me really thinking and I found myself directly relating to the story he told us. The moral of the story was to live life slowly and to learn different things as you go on this journey of life. I often see myself growing up to fast and I need to slow down and process different experiences I go through and really find the importance and knowledge of each experience.


Today felt like one of the longest days ever, we woke up around 6:30 and it is currently  9:37 and its still not over, but I really enjoyed everything that we did. First we played an indigenous martial arts game in the morning  thats pretty hard to explain but all the males did a tournament and I won!  We went to the pomona college science lab where we got to learn about C. Elegans (microscopic worms) that humans have a lot in common with. Then we went to the pomona museum where we learned about baskets that some of the native people to California made a very long time ago. Elder Lori Sisquoc also came and actually taught us how to make baskets and we painted using ancestral tools. We also saw a film that was about Hollywood and the negative impacts films had due to the way that Native Americans were portrayed as. These Hollywood stereotypes still have negative impacts on us  today but i feel the best way to deal with them is to prove that we are the exact opposite and we aren’t some crazy savage Indians that Hollywood made it seem like we were. Then after the film we went to our theatre class that I find fun because the instructor is so engaging and passionate and it just makes the class so much fun.

Ansel’s First day

Today was my first day in the Pitzer native youth to college program. I had lots of fun meeting different mentors and native youth that I feel I can learn so much from. I hope to have lots of fun while being here and look forward to learning so much.

Ansel’s bio

Hey y’all! My name is Ansel Rodriguez, my Nahuatl name is Quiztoc Achcuatli. I am from North East Los Angeles and I identify as Mexica. I see myself as a risk taking leader who engages himself in many different physical activities such as playing basketball, long distance running, and hiking. I attend Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory High School of North America and I am going into my junior year, in fact I’ve been at Anahuacalmecac since the first grade. I really enjoy new experiences and expanding my education, so I always involve my self in different summer programs. Last summer I was proud to be a part of the Han Ban Summer Bridge Program, which was basically a cultural exchange program. My school has this huge project called the personal project that the sophomore class must complete to culminate from the MYP. Recognitions that I have received and I am proud of are running in the half marathon and completing my personal project. I actually have presented publicly, I recited a poem at Self Help Graphics in support of the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa. In my future I hope to better my community and continue my education.Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 8.45.40 PM