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Helen Aldana

(pronouns: they/them/theirs/elle/le)

I am a proud child of la bella María Elena y Antonio el hermoso. In my parents’ search for home, they found each other in Boyle Heights, where they first raised me and my older sister. Together, the beautiful couple raised us greñudas to be artists, givers, tree growers, and wellsprings of home. 


Growing up in Los Angeles, I was surrounded by communities that to this day are rooting down and rising up to protect their homes. A sense of belonging in the lands that we are committed to tending is our promise to our elders and future generations.


With my family as my guiding star, I received a BA in philosophy and art from UC-Santa Cruz, where I organized events for people to connect and celebrate their culture, art, and love. I went on to work at ONE Archives Foundation, the largest LGBTQ+ archives, and invited youth of color to learn and add their stories to the archives, strengthening a history where their ancestors have always belonged.


Named community doula, I help others deliver their creative dreams by using art as the bridge to connect with their story, roots, environment, and future. As president of Senderos, I support youth and families to trust their full potential as leaders in higher education. I also work as an outreach and inclusion manager at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, where I develop and strengthen relationships between the museum and the community. At home, I enjoy planning queer brunches with good food and good people.


I am an abuelita-in-training and a hard worker learning to tend the land and create a world where we move, grow, and live as our full selves. I invest my whole self in the collective vision of home for indigenous, immigrant, and queer/trans communities.

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