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Skilled immigrants, Philippine immigrants, Multiculturalism vs Melting Pot, Multiculturalism vs Canadianism, Canadian Dream, Generations of New Canadians, Integration of Diverse Communities

Stumbling Through Paradise
A Feast of Mercy for Manuel del Mundo by Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell

Stumbling Through Paradise: A Feast of Mercy for Manuel del Mundo follows the journey of one Filipino family, who leave everything behind in order to build a new life for themselves in Canada, and their struggle to find their way. Blocked from finding work in their respective fields despite their qualifications and skills, they must decide between pride and practicality, survival and surrender. The choices and concessions they make will impact their lives, and the lives of their children, in countless ways. And in the end, it will be up to the second and third generations to offer redemption, and help create the paradise their parents had hoped to find.

A story of determination and hope, Stumbling Through Paradise showcases the indomitable spirit of those willing to risk everything for the chance of a brighter future, and captures with great clarity, the bonds of familial love and loyalty, which may bend but never truly break.

Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell taps into a wonderful adventure filled with promise and peril. Honest and provocative, her narrative blends into an engaging read the diverse lives of Filipinos who have made Canada their new home. It depicts virtue and vice, hope and despair, triumph and failure in a contemporary setting that’s also a social commentary about the complex challenges immigrants face in a new country. From the idyllic town of Pililla east of Manila to the global city of Vancouver, Eleanor has drawn deep to produce a sparkling gem. — Carlito Pablo, Staff Writer, The Georgia Straight

Riveting, authentic…a triumph of truth and hope…the story of every Filipino-Canadian…Filled with nuggets of wisdom and practical useful information…must-read for every immigrant, old and new… — Melissa Remulla Briones, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Inquirer (Dec 2013)

Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell photo

When Eleanor Guerrero Campbell came to Canada with a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the Philippines and some years planning Metro Manila, she got the first job she applied for — planner for the City of Edmonton, Alberta. She continued on to plan the City of Surrey as Associate Director of Planning, and the City of Richmond as Manager of Policy Planning and Corporate Strategies.

And so she was surprised to find that in Canada, in the 80’s and 90’s, many highly skilled immigrants could not practise their professions. Very experienced internationally-trained engineers, doctors, and other professionals ended up driving taxis and cleaning floors. In response, she co-founded the Multicultural Helping House Society, a non-profit organization to help newcomers succeed in Canada. There she learned first hand about the problems of newcomers, and created programs to help skilled immigrants secure work in their field.

Eleanor directed the Looking Ahead Initiative, a BC wide program to improve the labour market integration of immigrants, working with multiple stakeholders. She authored Hiring and Retaining Skilled Immigrants: A Cultural Competence Toolkit, a guide for human resource managers of BC. She chaired the City of Vancouver Cultural Communities Advisory Committee advocating for better integration of newcomers into city life. Eleanor has been recognized with various awards as a champion for multiculturalism and immigrant integration. Eleanor is currently co-convenor of the City of Vancouver’s Immigrant Partnership Program Access to Services Committee.

It became clear to Eleanor that the stories she encountered in the community deserved to be told — needed to be told. After retiring in 2012, she began work on Stumbling Through Paradise, using literary skills learned from her first degree English and Comparative Literature, courses with writing guru Natalie Goldberg, and her own experiences in the field to help shape her characters and their journey.

Eleanor writes and lives in Vancouver with her husband. When they are not travelling, they enjoy walking, cycling, and exploring the city’s neighbourhoods and cultural life.


Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell

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