& seeker of joy and liberation.
Who am I?
That artsy odd ball tia/auntie/sister who gets too excited about super nerdy stuff.
I usually have a random fact for every situation and usually know someone who knows something about something.
MY LIBERATION JOURNEY IS FRAMED BY
EDUCATION about how my identity shapes my experience and the history that has created this moment in time
CREATIVITY in how I engage in this world personally and envision a new future collectively
COMMUNITY the belief that my life is a collective experience that includes my ancestors, my neighbours, my responsibility to future generations and the environment
I am a queer, Latinx femme of African, Central American Indigenous and European ancestry, born in Costa Rica and raised in Canada.
Currently I am settler on the lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh people in so-called Vancouver, BC..
Since I was a teenager I have been asking myself, what is my legacy?
As the eldest daughter of a big immigrant family I felt an overwhelming sense of privilege. I always felt responsible for other's and like I couldn't enjoy frivolous things because my money and time could be better used elsewhere - whether it was looking after siblings, donating to local causes, volunteering in my community or finding a job I could 'do good' at.
I ended up working in underfunded non-profits for many years, volunteered till I burnt out and took ownership of cultural traditions that didn't allow me to grow into myself.
I WAS DOING 'DOING GOOD'
BUT I FELT STUCK
I started to see how I was on a hamster wheel. This work was not emotionally, financially or even physically sustainable. Plus I was so focused on 'doing good' that I wasn't allowing myself to feel joy and be my most authentic self.
That is, until I woke up.
I realized I was trying to change a system that didn't want to be changed and was actually designed to oppress me and others like me.
As a BIWOC I have had unique insight into the systems of oppression that the institutions of this society uphold - even though I didn't realize it at the time. Once I realized what these were and how they worked, I began my conscious decolonization journey.
One that honours me, my community and the environment around me.
Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies
Master of Education in Arts for Social Change
17 years in culture affirming mental health and community work
5 years as a community builder for local arts and culture organization