Canela O’Neal

Lead Program Staff Canela is my chosen name to honor the many channels that have led me to being here, much like the ocean that has carried the spice around the world. My pronouns are she/they. I was born here on Chumash Land and have lived here on and off ever since. I consider nature connection the most important and revolutionary offering I have to share with this world. I believe that connecting to the natural world inspires us to protect this air we breathe, this water we drink and this land which feeds us and so many other living things. My love for this land has given me a deep love for myself and my community, which is what I hope to offer to the students I am lucky to lead out on program. I enjoy bird watching, swimming in the ocean, playing games that challenge our stealthiness, harvesting wild edibles and roaming freely under the night sky. I studied Global Studies with a focus on Latin America and returned home at the beginning of 2020 after 19 long moons in Mexico and South America. I have been on and off with WYP for nearly ten years and look forward to evolving with this familia. My vision for the future is a decolonial one, one where we honor our histories and the people whose land we are on as we work towards healing and justice. My intention is to build more relations with the BIPOC community and build accountability within our staff team and practices to celebrate our roots and connect through our diversity.