Ryan Lay skateboarding in Mexico City; frame grab courtesy Coalatree Organics

Ryan Lay skateboarding in Mexico City; frame grab courtesy Coalatree Organics

When the crew from Coalatree Organics decided to take a team trip to Mexico City, they had more than grinding curbs and popping ollies on their minds. True, the crew—consisting of Ryan Lay, Zach Lyons, and Ryan Spencer—skated all over the sprawling megalopolis, but during downtime they ditched their skateboards and picked up shovels at a community garden called Orchard Tlatelolco. We caught up with Lay to get some insight into the trip to one of the world's biggest cities.

Why did you guys decide to take a team trip to Mexico City?
We were interested in skating spots in the city and exploring some of the historical sites. We also wanted to check out some of the urban-agriculture movement that has been happening down there. Also, the weather was great, which can be tough to find in November.

What's the skate scene like there?
The skate scene is really rad! We skated with this guy Mario Saenz who runs a distribution company there, as well as a small shoe brand called Rid. It was really inspiring to see them creating their own industry instead of just bringing in all of the American brands.

Did skateboarding in Mexico City feel dangerous?
It definitely did in Tepito [a Mexico City barrio]. Our driver made the mistake of taking us through there and we got stopped in gridlock traffic by some thugs who took our camera's memory card. Other than that, it was pretty mellow.

Skateboarding in Mexico City can lead to all kinds of unusual sights, like a fire breathing street performer; frame grab courtesy Coalatree Organics

Skateboarding in Mexico City can lead to all kinds of unusual sights, like a fire-breathing street performer. Frame grab courtesy Coalatree Organics

What were some of the craziest things you guys saw there?
I saw a street performer blowing fire out of his mouth with oil he was swishing around. He was standing on the side of the highway; that was pretty gnarly.

Any run-ins with the policia?
Not sure you would call them policia, but a traffic cop put a boot on our van when we were debating what spot to skate next. That ended up turning into a two-hour ordeal … pretty funny stuff.

What did you guys do besides skate?
We went to a really rad urban garden called Orchard Tlatelolco and helped them with some of their planting. They educated us on their organization and program and served us a farm-to-table lunch that was too good! The woman who runs it is a total sweetheart!

After a long day skateboarding in Mexico City, nothing beats a farm to table meal from a community garden; frame grab courtesy of Coalatree Organics

After a long day skateboarding in Mexico City, nothing beats a farm-to-table meal from a community garden. Frame grab courtesy Coalatree Organics

Watch the video of their trip to Orchard Tlatelolco here.

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