Great work by a great many in Nelson area

To begin with, I would like to commend the newspaper for acknowledging the work of these local people.

Re: “Nelsonites making the world a better place,” January 2

To begin with, I would like to commend the newspaper for acknowledging the work of these local people. Too often we hear only stories of tragedy and adversity, portraying an ominous state of the world.

While it is important to bring awareness to challenging issues, it equally imperative to highlight the positive efforts of people as they work to make change. Many people are working for justice, equality and sustainability in our community and abroad and it’s important to take time to celebrate the progress we are making. These stories represent hope.

While I really appreciate your acknowledgement of me in the Star, I would like to bring attention to the many others who are involved in the experience as I am only one student of many who have travelled to Guatemala. Students have been travelling to Guatemala as part of a third year nursing practicum for over six years. We travel as invited guests thanks to the tremendous effort of Mary Ann Morris and Michael Chapman. Over many years, Mary Ann, a registered nurse and instructor at Selkirk College has built longstanding relationships with grassroots organizations in Guatemala, built upon mutual respect, authenticity and reciprocity.

In Guatemala, we explored how community development and health are positively linked and examined how the concepts of power, privilege, marginalization and globalization impact peoples’ capacity to access health care services and enact healthy lifestyle behaviours. We were encouraged to make connections between what we learned in class and the health challenges we encountered in Guatemala.

Through this experience we gained deeper awareness of self, others, and social issues and we developed greater insight into the systemic and institutionalized nature of oppression, injustice and inequality. Most importantly, we were supported to understand our potential as nurses and as world citizens to create change.

Many other members in the Nelson community have also played instrumental roles including family members who support the students, local business owners who donate merchandise for fundraising, the United Church for the use of their hall, and many others who show their support. It is the combined effort of all of these people that deserves attention.

People coming together in solidarity like this gives me hope for a better future. So let’s remember to share these stories of positivity and inspiration.

“Many little people, in many little places, doing many little things can change the world.”

–mural in Nuevo

Horizonte, Guatemala

Tessa Munro