Cecilia Sara is a local community member dedicated to celebrating cultural diversity and raising awareness about religious, cultural and physical discrimination.
She describes Fort McMurray as a place that understands the importance of acceptance between cultures and loves that community events focus on multiculturalism.
“Fort McMurray is a multicultural, multilingual and diverse community where you can learn geography, history and other aspects of life from different parts of the country and the world without travelling or reading a book,” she said.
Dedicated to her career as a Respiratory Therapist and Educator at Total Respiratory Care, Cecilia believes success in life comes from having a strong work ethic, which she learned at a young age growing up in Cartagena, Colombia.
“My grandfather used to sell goods door-to-door, and I was his assistant after school and during the weekends,” she explained.
“I earned five Colombian pesos a day, which is less than one Canadian cent today. Apart from learning how to do math without a calculator, I learned that people need to work hard to achieve what they want in life.”
After she emigrated to Montreal and lived there for three years, Cecilia moved to Fort McMurray to follow her husband in 2011.
Now celebrating 21 years of marriage and raising their two daughters in the city, Cecilia shared she has many great memories of Fort McMurray, one of her favourites took place during the 2014 Alberta Culture Days.
“A group of Colombian friends and my family performed a traditional dance from Colombia,” she said. “We practiced our performance through the summer, and we had the chance to explain to many friends in the region what the dance was about.”