A native to Philadelphia, PA, Alayna moved to Puerto Rico at the age of 11. Always interested in art, photography, design, and working with raw materials, Alayna went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Alayna ended up moving to Guatemala in 2008 to work with Artcorp and World Neighbors on a 1 year artist residency. The work she was involved in included teaching the women of Rabinal to make ceramic tiles, which were to be used for the flooring of a newly constructed a community center. The people of Rabinal already were skilled in ceramics because of the clay soil found in the area, however were not familiar with the tile making or laying process. Because of this work, many of the families who took part are now able to construct their own floors rather than having a dirt floor.
Additionally, on the same site (as well as a few other sites) Alayna has constructed a composting outhouse, the walls of which are made with old plastic bottles, which would have otherwise been trash.
Two years later, Alayna is dedicated to the people of Guatemala and continues to work on creative projects, trying always to accomplish something for the people, always thinking of others.
Alayna’s most recent project, Living History, is a “community project to comprehend reality”. In the 1980s mass amounts of people in Guatemala were massacred or disappeared during a genocidal war. Alayna is working to gather information, photos, and stories of those people who died, or went missing, during those genocides. This project aims to bring attention to these historical acts of violence through documentation, and hopes to provide some kind of reconciliation for the people and their lost family members.
Living History will create a photographic montage to be hung on the walls sof the cemetery in Rabinal, Guatemala (429 ft long). Creation of this photo documentary will be accomplished through interviews, educational workshops and participatory activities. The people of Rabinal will be included in the project and it’s research as a way to help them understand, and address, their history, as well as see their role now in preventing such events from happening again.
Alayna’s goal with her work is to reconcile the history of Guatemala, in order to help the people move forward in the most productive, and ecologically balanced way.
There is a chance for you to help now. Please see Living History’s websites for further information, or to donate: