Laura Bonilla

“I was taught to give back to my community. My great-grandmother said: ‘You’re not just going to exist – you’re going to do something.’”

"My family and I came to Canada as refugees from El Salvador because of civil war. I was five, it was February, and I remember white stuff on the beach [snow]. I couldn’t put those things together.

I was taught to give back to my community. My great-grandmother said: ‘You’re not just going to exist – you’re going to do something.’ Becoming a social worker presented a way to do that. When I worked at the Burnaby New Canadian Clinic, I gained an understanding of the importance of universal health care. You see that health literacy and services haven’t been available in people’s countries: they’re being diagnosed for the first time. 

Today, I work at the Post-Transplant Clinic, supporting people after receiving a new kidney. ‘It’s a new lease on life’ is what I often hear, but there can be anxieties underneath. I’m so impressed by people’s resiliency though. Providing guidance and helping them thrive is a privilege. I couldn’t do it alone; I’m thankful to work with great teams. 

Outside work, I gravitate to friends and family. I like to cook – my favourite is cannelloni – and I love Spanish music: in my mind, I’m a great salsa dancer."

-- Laura Morán Bonilla, Social Worker, Post-Transplant Clinic, Fraser Health 

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