It takes work sometimes to build an Edmonton community. In the beginning a few of us would get together and walk the streets, claiming Norwood as our own. There are lots of opportunities in developing neighbourhoods: room for new initiatives, for people to promote change. Working together we transform the area. We're attracting community to this neighbourhood. We have to kind of work together, talk and share our Edmonton experiences. It's up to everybody.
About 10 kids came to the first city block party we had, and about 20 or 25 adults. It was last September, and started around 1. The city blocked the street off for a few hours, and we ended up staying until 10 or 11 at night. It was a great way to build community.
This year there were more people. Some people dressed up. One woman came as a clown, and her kids were dressed up too. People brought drums and made music. We shared food and ideas. We connected as neighbours.
When my husband and I moved to the Edmonton area two years ago, a few people came up and introduced themselves and welcomed us to the neighbourhood. People were checking us out, finding out who we were. We had a couch to bring up and were so tired that we couldn’t move it. They gave us a hand. If people see me with bags, something extra to carry, they'll help me. That's how my neighbourhood is. People care about you.
Karina Hurtado came to Canada 4 years ago from Peru. She works for Vibrant Communities Edmonton, a community-driven organization focused on poverty reduction and ensuring a good quality of life for all residents. She is a proud resident of Edmonton’s Norwood neighbourhood.