"Everything in society tells us to distrust others. I think it's the other way around. We need to profoundly trust in those around us, in their potential and in who they are," the grandmotherly Nelsa Curbelo Cora says. In 1999, she walked into the violence infested city of Guayaquil, Ecuador to BE peace. Through her grassroots work, many of Guayaquil's most dangerous gangs have disarmed, agreed to abandon violence--and now work together to rebuild their community! Watch this profile of Nelsa Curbelo Cora's work.


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  • Hugh Robertson

    Truly inspiring and touching story. She is so right that these people are cast out because they are not feeding the narrative that money is the be all and end of of human striving. These "gangs" are really substitute families and she is correct that there is a lot of positive energy to be tapped into in that and all they require is some guidance and loving care.

  • Maureen Kammer

    Absolutely everything ❤️

  • Meiling Albert

    The love that looks deeply and cares deeply and changes youthful hearts. She is a way-shower of goodness. A saint in practice really.I love this film.

  • Freda Karpf

    She's a beautiful, intelligent woman working with youth who are also wonderful people. What she says here completely relates to and applies to other issues. This struck me as to why we, all people, seem to harm the environment and not care about their actions. Because they haven't been shown, in the modern/industrialized world how we belong. We've lost our connection, we feel powerless or unrecognized because so many of the native and traditional people from all our cultures have not travelled to this moment in time with us and we lost a sense of our place - a place where we are all stewards of the land and water, of the wildlife and of each other. What she does in this town is reestablish a sense of belonging. From that, all good comes.

  • Victoria Crawford

    What inspired me about this video? Everything......I am grateful that Nelsa was able to explain in such clear and simple ways the allure of the gangs, the violence that is committed and the reason why they come together and stay together. I get it now in a way that I didn't before. I understand more fully the reasons why this is happening and once again the power of love. Her trust, love and action is deeply inspiring. Thank you!

  • Rachael Denny

    "The power to give life"-that's something to think about.

  • Ed

    Nelsa's insightfully describes how certain populations are shunned in society while selfish powers seem to always escape significant scrutiny . Her work takes place in Ecuador but applies to countless countries around the world including the US of A. The real tragedy is that we've become convinced this is inevitable and normal. Leave it to a former nun to fully embrace love.

  • Jane

    Nelsa commitment to the power of love and her observations are very inspiring. The world could be transformed by love.

  • Lee

    What touched me the most is the unconditional love and trust Nelsa had for each one and putting herself out there and not being intimidated by what happened, because love conquers everything and the unconditional positive regard toward these children who just want to be loved and trust that they to can make a difference in the world.

  • Kevin Reid

    Such an inspirational gift to see the pratically applied power of love and understanding being used to transform our world!

  • scott fisher

    very very important video and work; the youth are the future

  • Frank

    Beautiful. Love truely does conquer all!

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  • Read more about Nelsa Curbelo Cora and her work in this Ashoka Fellows profile.
  • Learn about a global movement to create a nonviolent peace force!
  • Take an attitude of profound trust in your interactions with everyone you meet today.

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