Miriam Castellanos delivers a suitcase to Bogotá

After numerous setbacks, Miriam Josephs Castellanos helped deliver an NJT suitcase to Bogota, Colombia. Thank you for going above and beyond a tourist! Miriam explains a little bit about the clinic she helped:

“The president of the foundation that sponsors the clinic lives in Bogota. Her family grew up in the town of Zetaquira and her brother is a retired Medical Doctor who is on the board of directors. Their whole family raises money for the clinic, and supports the local school, too. So my mother-in-law (who knows the family very well and is also a doctor) and I met with the clinic’s president, and two other members to pass along the suitcase. It should finally get to the clinic in the next two weeks as the strike is now over and the family has plans to drive the six hours to Zetaquira.

Although Zetaquira is rural
and far from the tourist track, any people traveling to Bogota can pass along suitcases, too. I’m happy to help set it up.

It was important to me to do this because I am always aware how much privilege I have. My father grew up poor in South Africa and my mom grew up in a large family with little money in Ontario. I spent time in Malawi and the people there made the poor South Africans seem rich, because they had so little. Although a small percentage of Colombians have great wealth, the majority do not and there isn’t a comprehensive public healthcare system. I like to imagine the faces with wide eyes of disbelief as Colombians are told there is little or no cost for the medical help they need because of the kind donations of Canadians. (I also don’t like to see perfectly good things go to waste).

Keep up the great work, NJT.

Miriam Castellanos

240 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 1L3