Introducing Karinna Vasquez

I had the pleasant opportunity to speak with Karinna via Zoom to ask a bit about her personal life and experience with Indigenous Perspectives Society: Centre of Excellence in Community Education (IPS).  Prior to coming to IPS, Karinna was a lawyer in her home country, living in the capital of Peru, for a nonprofit organization to assist children in Family Court.  In Canada, Karinna began her Community, Family and Child Studies, to earn her Diploma at Camosun College at the end of this term. Karinna is currently completing her practicum with IPS. Karinna was first introduced to IPS by Camosun College staff in mid-January and will be with us until early April when she completes her studies.

In Karinna’s role with us, she is assisting with IPS training curriculum development. Karinna recognizes her most important strengths as determination, communication and her ability to advocate for those in need.  She truly has huge heart, and it shows in the way she speaks about children, families, and communities.  While Karinna feels out of her comfort-zone, she is proud of being part of the change as a community service worker and creating training materials to support social work professionals. Karinna’s favorite task is designing slides, but she also finds her creative engagement in material development energizing and important. Karinna is eager to learn and appreciates the support of her mentor, Cynthia, IPS Manager of Curriculum and Learning, who is always happy to answer Karinna’s questions or offer her a break if she feels overwhelmed at any point. Karinna describes IPS’s work environment as “Judgement-free, willingness from everyone to connect, and a team with the capacity to care for each other. The staff make you feel like you are part of the team, even when you are new.”

Some of the interests in her personal life include dancing, self-care kits, candles and perfume. While Karinna is a Temporary Resident here in Canada, she is hoping to apply for Permanent Residency. Karinna also shared some heavy news about COVID-19 and some important members of her family, in Peru.

“COVID has been bad in Peru… I lost both my mother and grandfather to the illness. They are my motivation. The best way to honor them is to keep up with my studies and work. I keep my mom in my heart, it has helped me mature, and keeps me moving forward.”