ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – From parents working from home, while their kids were going to school online, to those who lost jobs, or others who lost loved ones. A group of University of New Mexico students are telling the stories of resilient New Mexicans and sharing how they navigated the pandemic.

A team of five UNM students has spent the last year, collecting stories from individuals and communities, with the hopes of sharing human experiences from around the state. “I think that idea that resiliency is a process and people in New Mexico having gone through some challenges before but being able to draw on those experiences, And I think going forward, it bodes well coming out of the pandemic and seeing what we can do when the next big challenge confronts us,” says Anthropology student, Andy Gorvetzian.

Stories of resilience is a collaboration between two groups aimed at helping communities adapt to a changing world and UNM. The printed and digital booklet shares 30 unique stories from grandparents, city employees, theater directors, teachers, health care workers, and more.

“Folks really just wanted to be as positive as they could they shared how they were getting through things, how they saw the light at the end of the tunnel and it was really inspirational,” says Community and Regional Planning Student, Mia Held.

The students involved say they started collecting stories by calling and emailing schools, religious organizations, and public interest groups. They hope readers will see their own experiences reflected in the stories.

“I do think every state can do their own stories of resilience, every community could do their own stories of resilience and you would see some common thread. The project really is a unique New Mexico document and that’s what really makes it specials,” Held says.

They are still accepting submissions online and they are working to continue the series. So far, they’ve printed 20 physical copies of the booklet, the stories are available online for free.