Nursing students' Rice and Bean Dinner Friday to showcase Guatemalan efforts

Back row:  Left to right – Katy Camilleri, Shannon McRory, Paige Cook, Maia Kilby, Dustin Portz                Front row:  Left to right – Mary Ann Morris (Instructor), Chandrima Lavoie, Ali Munro, Hannah Bilodeau.
Back row: Left to right – Katy Camilleri, Shannon McRory, Paige Cook, Maia Kilby, Dustin Portz Front row: Left to right – Mary Ann Morris (Instructor), Chandrima Lavoie, Ali Munro, Hannah Bilodeau.

Friday night will give residents an opportunity to eat a fabulous meal, help in an excellent cause, and enjoy fascinating stories of our own young people working in a vastly different culture – in short, it's once again time for the Selkirk nursing students' Rice and Beans Dinner.

Eight third-year nursing students are looking forward to their four-week visit to Guatemala in May to participate in an international nursing practice experience as part of the Baccalaureate Degree program through the University of Victoria at Selkirk College. The students travel to Guatemala as invited

guests with the goal of exploring how community development and health are positively linked.

They will collaborate with their partners, who are grassroots community organizations, working to promote health through community capacity building and by addressing fundamental social issues such as poverty, inequity, discrimination and human rights violations. The experience will deepen their understanding of how community empowerment and solidarity globally are integral to their future nursing practice.

One of their four partner organizations is the Mayan People’s Clinic of La Esmeralda. This clinic has a team of trained volunteer health promoters including a Dental Health Promoter. They provide services to upwards of 3,000 people. Services include childhood vaccinations, maternal child health, and diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses.

Students will work with their partners to provide health information as requested. This year the focus will be on diabetes, dental health and hand hygiene.

“This Selkirk College International Program in Guatemala has become a bridge between our communities, our cultures and our people,” said Selkirk nursing instructor Mary Ann Morris, who will oversee the students during their visit.

The Rice and Beans Dinner fundraiser will be held on Feb. 24 at St. Rita’s Church Hall at 513 7 Ave. in Castlegar; doors open at 5:30 p.m.; dinner at 6 p.m.; $10 - $15 at the door; children are free. There will be a silent auction, the local Doukhobor Men’s choir will perform, and the students who visited Guatemala in 2016 will give a presentation on their experiences.

Your support will be appreciated.

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