Canek is a native of Los Angeles California and was educated in LAUSD schools. He is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Independent Studies with a major in Latin American Studies and Education. During his undergraduate studies, Canek traveled to Chiapas to study Tzotzil and assist in research at autonomous indigenous clinics. He later edited the book The Speed of Dreams , Selected Writings 2001-2007.
He spent two years as a youth organizer establishing a sweat equity program for youth on probation to earn community service hours by painting murals with community involvement.
Later, he received a masters and teaching credential from the UCLA Teacher Education Program. Canek served for two years on the Authentic Collaborative Education (ACE) committee for YouthBuild Charter School of California where he contributed to a manual to guide instruction for a network of alternative high schools throughout Southern California.
After teaching social studies for six years in charter schools throughout Los Angeles, he is happy to return to the Echo Park neighborhood to teach Political Studies at the Los Angeles School of Global Studies. He also likes biking, hiking and running with the Students Run LA team as they train for the LA Marathon.