Chile, Costa Rica
1991–1995, 1995–1999, 1999–2001, 2001
Rosa Candia was born in Chile, and fled in May 1974 after a military coup had transformed the country into a volatile dictatorship. A political refugee, Rosa lived briefly in Argentina before settling in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
When Rosa discovered Cuso International’s Winnipeg office, she started volunteering on evenings and weekends. She relished working with the passionate and intelligent people who were drawn to the organization.
Rosa supported herself by working as a dishwasher in the basement of a hotel. She took university courses and eventually earned her Masters’ degree. As she gained experience, Rosa started working with immigrants, training multicultural community workers and eventually got a job with the provincial government.
After Chile’s dictatorship dissolved, Rosa returned to her country of origin with a scholarship to study the resettlement process. “As both a researcher and a subject, the process was very intense,” Rosa remembered.
While in Chile, Rosa connected with CUSO’s Field Staff Officer about volunteer opportunities. As a member of the diaspora, Rosa knew that she could bring a lot of value to Chile. She brought this perspective to her 10 years of volunteer work, as well as her role as the Cuso International Diaspora Program Coordinator.
Rosa Candia died on November 24, 2016.