Cleaning Up the Past

Dear Harvey,

My name is Kristian. I am from Sweden. In 1972-1973 I was working as a forester in Chile in a program developed by the governments of Chile and Sweden to help organise forestry. I was captured during the military coup, sent to a local jail for two weeks, and then declared "persona non grata." With help from the Swedish embassy, I got out of jail and was sent back to Sweden.

A year ago I decided to go back and find out what part of my experience in Chile was real and what was terrified fantasy. The trip was a big step in my life. While there, I had a good session with David Holmström in Santiago, made contact with people I knew before the coup, and listened to lots of people's stories of what happened to them after the coup. I listened well and made a big difference to them. I talked a little about Co-Counseling. Because I had suffered the same oppression as they had, they trusted me and had confidence in me. Most of the people I know in Chile are working-class.

Because I'm a schoolteacher now, I also contacted a school in the countryside, which is about the same size as my school in Sweden. I came home and got my school in Sweden interested in knowing the school in Chile. After half a year I got a scholarship so that I could go back to Chile for about two weeks. I went to several schools and talked to teachers and students of all ages. Among the schools were three schools for Mapuches (native people). The next step is for Chilean teachers to come to Sweden, and next after that is to let the students know each other.

On my last trip, Laura Silva and I did a brief introduction to Co-Counseling for some friends in Valdivia. It went extremely well, and before I left we formed a group that will continue on.

Kristian Lund
Leksand, Sweden

Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07