Edgar R. Ayala
Edgar is a Guatemala-born graphic artist and political activist who lives in Oakland, California. He settled in San Francisco in 1986. His first job as a graphic artist was at the renowned La Raza Graphics Center in San Francisco’s Mission District. La Raza was the pre-eminent organization at the forefront of Latinx local and transnational struggles in Northern California,
Continuously seeking connections to the underground solidarity movement, Edgar joined other activists in their support for social justice in Central America. In 1994, he was hired by the Oakland-based Vesper Society as a graphic designer, Guatemala-specialist, and liaison to help organize a series of off-the-record meetings aiming to impact the formal UN-sponsored Peace Talks on Guatemala, before the final Peace Accords where signed in December of 1996.
Throughout the 1990’s, Edgar worked as designer at A. Maciel Printing, a progressive printing shop that catered mostly to nonprofit, community-based organizations around San Francisco. In 1995, he founded Grassroots Publishing, a firm that specializes in the design and production of identity and outreach materials for local and international nonprofit organizations and Latino-owned small businesses. He has also served as a consultant for hire and pro-bono, or as a board member in a variety of social justice causes, including as a member of the Latino Advisory Council for the Oakland Museum of California, Alianza Americas, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Network in Solidarity With The People of Guatemala, and the Central American Resource Center, CARECEN•SF, among other.
Edgar earned a B.S. in Science and Literature and studied Arts and Graphics at San Carlos University, Guatemala, but his studies curtailed when he fled the country. In the US, he gained a certificate as an English/Spanish Interpreter from Peralta College. He is an avid writer and photographer focusing on migrant issues, and his editorials are published in various Guatemalan newspapers and journals. And, his photo and video material is often is featured in conjunction with his work on behalf of no-profit organizations in the US. .
Today he continues to design for print and on the Web and keeps several clients at all times, designing and translating for print and on the Web, consulting on social media outreach and management, and assisting clients with their bilingual content and messaging. Communicating vital information across linguistic, cultural or ethnic divides for social justice causes, occupies most of his time.