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Ecuadorians in Canada: Overcoming Obstacles and Embracing New Beginnings

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In an exclusive interview with Priscila Calderon, president of the Ecuadorian Association of Manitoba, we delve into the unique experiences of Ecuadorian immigrants in Canada. The quotes from Ms. Calderon paint a vivid picture of the challenges and aspirations of the Ecuadorian community in Manitoba.

“One of the first challenges Ecuadorians face in Canada is the cultural shock. Because we left our families or friends back in our country, each family faces this problem in different ways.”

Leaving behind the familiar comforts of home and arriving in a new country can be an overwhelming experience. The distance from loved ones, different customs, and a foreign language can create a profound cultural dislocation. Yet, it is precisely these challenges that help individuals grow and adapt to their new surroundings.

“Another thing could be the weather. Even if we know that it’s cold, we have done our own research about the weather. It is different from seeing it or watching a movie, but once you come here and face the real cold and snow, it’s when you realize how hard it can be. It’s a challenge, but it’s a part of the learning curve.”

The Canadian winters are renowned for their harshness, and for newcomers, they can be quite the shock. Despite preparing themselves mentally, the physical reality of sub-zero temperatures and snow-covered landscapes can be a significant adjustment. However, as Ms. Calderon highlights, it’s all part of the journey to acclimatize to their new home.

“The Association was started in 2021. And since then, they have been serving the Ecuadorian and Latina community in our province.”

The Ecuadorian Association of Manitoba was founded in 2021 in response to the increasing number of Ecuadorian immigrants coming to Canada. It has since become a vital support network for newcomers and a platform for celebrating Ecuadorian culture.

“Several years ago, it was hard for Ecuadorian people to get together, but now the Association helps to bring people together and celebrate the culture.”

Integration into a new society is always easier when there is a sense of belonging and shared identity. The Association has played a crucial role in fostering a sense of community and enabling Ecuadorians to maintain their cultural heritage while embracing their new Canadian home.

“In the last five years, Ecuadorian people lived in a very, very tough situation. Ecuadorians moved to Canada because they want new opportunities in life and safety.”

Economic and safety concerns have driven many Ecuadorians to seek a better life in Canada. Political instability and economic challenges in their home country have made pursuing opportunities abroad necessary for many families.

“The main thing that we are looking for as parents who are reeling our families here is easy to find safety that they can walk safely to the school and they can hang out with friends without the uncertainty that probably we could have in our country. Because right now, it is not possible.”

Safety and security are paramount concerns for Ecuadorian immigrants in Canada. The peace of mind that comes with knowing their families can lead a life free from the fears that plagued them in their homeland is a driving force behind their journey.

“This is the country of opportunities; there is no limit age for you to start over, learn in your career, and try something different. That is another thing that brings a lot of people to Canada.”

Canada’s reputation as a land of opportunities is a significant draw for immigrants from around the world. It’s a place where age is no barrier to pursuing one’s dreams and aspirations. The promise of a better life and the chance to start anew are powerful motivators for Ecuadorians seeking a brighter future.

The Ecuadorian Association of Manitoba is a testament to the resilience and determination of Ecuadorian immigrants who have made Canada their home. While they face cultural shocks and climatic challenges, they are driven by the pursuit of safety and opportunities for themselves and their families. The Association, founded in 2021, has played a pivotal role in helping them navigate these challenges and build a vibrant community that celebrates their rich culture while embracing the promise of their adopted land.

– Yuliia Kovalenko, U Multicultural

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