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Conversation With the Dominican Ambassador to Canada

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In an exclusive interview with Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, the newly appointed Dominican ambassador to Canada, a vision for a stronger and more engaged Dominican community in Canada unfolds. Ambassador Castellanos, known for his dedication to community development, emphasizes the importance of building a robust connection between the Dominican Republic and Canada beyond the realm of tourism.

“I always love visiting my communities where I served, and in Winnipeg, we have a growing community of Dominicans, with more arriving all the time,” says Ambassador Castellanos. This sentiment captures the essence of his commitment to fostering a sense of community among Dominicans living in Canada.

One of the ambassador’s key priorities is to demonstrate to the Canadian government that the Dominican community is not only vital but also eager to play a more significant role in shaping the nation’s discourse. “We want to have a bigger voice in Canada, and I want to encourage all Dominican citizens to be proud Canadians and keep connecting our country with Canada,” he emphasizes.

To achieve this, Ambassador Castellanos advocates for increased engagement in Canadian politics. “We want to see more Dominicans getting involved in Canadian politics, becoming known in Canada. The diversity that Canada has, we want to be a part of this diversity,” he asserts. This proactive involvement will contribute to the community’s recognition as a strategic partner rather than merely a tourism destination.

“We want the Canadian government to see us as a strategic partner, not only as a tourism destination,” he stresses. While expressing appreciation for the annual influx of Canadian tourists to the Dominican Republic, Ambassador Castellanos underscores the desire for a broader and more multifaceted relationship. “We respect human rights, we respect diversity, we are global players. We want to have more trade with Canada,” he states.

The ambassador highlights the profound impact of Canadian tourists on the lives of Dominicans. “Every time a Canadian tourist goes to our country, it impacts the lives of many people,” he notes. Beyond the picturesque beaches and sunny landscapes, Ambassador Castellanos emphasizes the positive influence of tourism on various aspects of Dominican society, including employment and economic opportunities.

As part of their vision, the Dominican embassy aims to expand collaborations between Canada and the Dominican Republic in academic exchanges, temporary worker programs, and increased trade. “We want Canada to sell more products to the Dominican Republic and also use our country as a hub,” he envisions, underlining the potential for mutual benefits.

Ambassador Hans Dannenberg Castellanos envisions a future where the Dominican-Canadian community thrives as an integral part of the diverse Canadian landscape. By actively participating in Canadian politics, fostering strategic partnerships, and expanding collaborations beyond tourism, the ambassador hopes to weave a stronger bond between the two nations, ultimately contributing to the prosperity of the Dominican Republic and Canada.

– Yuliia Kovalenko, U Multicultural

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