About IILA

International Institute of Los Angeles was founded in 1914 to help newly arrived immigrants integrate into their new lives in Los Angeles. Throughout the years IILA has helped hundreds of thousands of immigrants and other low-income people overcome the barriers they face in becoming contributing members of society. The International Institute of Los Angeles brings a smile to the faces of children in our childcare centers, offers reassurance to seniors who join in the weekly dances at our senior center, and helps refugees and immigrants get their first job. IILA has changes thousands of lives by giving our participants a new beginning.

Our Mission

The mission of International Institute of Los Angeles is to help families become self-sufficient, and to promote cross-cultural understanding. Our corporate headquarters is located just east of downtown Los Angeles. The institute employs over 150 dedicated, multicultural staff that provide child care, senior services, transportation, immigration legal services, nutrition services and refugees services from over 25 centers and offices throughout southern California.

Our History

In 1914 The International Institute of Los Angeles was established by the YWCA to serve women and girls coming from Europe and the Orient and to assist the foreign communities in their adjustment to live in this country. One of the earliest projects was to set up a tea room for Japanese women farmers who brought their produce in horse-drawn carts to the Los Angeles Central Market early in the morning. The tea room provided refreshments, and a rare opportunity for the women to socialize and rest before the market opened. read more…