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Yolanda Garcia
First Day in Canada

Time 0:02:30


… the first one was—it was so special like the feeling of being here and feel like uh, This is the place I would like to stay. So it—it was more special than important I would say uh. But it was remarkable because it start my life right so that day, so it was—I was—it was so special and I remember, and I remember even the days after uh—that when I was going to the school to my classes that people on the street say hello and they smile in the morning, I didn’t expect that. I thought that people here was more like a dry, or less friendly, because that’s the idea sometimes we have about people in the first countries, in the first world, they are so stressed and they are all into themselves that they don’t have time to say, Good morning, how are you? Or smile when you are running and the other person is running beside you even though when they don’t know each other. So I was, Oh my goodness! Nice, nice people here. (laughs)

KB: So would you say that Canada feels like home to you now?

YG: Uh home for me, yes, definitely. Uh—it is going to sound very bad, but I’m going to Colombia and my idea I’m going on vacation. I—I’m—I’m when I came here I—I go back to my home. That’s bad but it’s—it’s because now, like my life is start—a second life is start here and my husband is here so, it’s like uh—now this is my place and, and I’m going to Colombia basically to visit my family, my—my close family, my parents and my siblings, and some friends. But uh I not going to—with the idea to stay or—because I missing too much my country. (laughs) I’m going because I have my family over there and—and—that my home is in now Canada.

Yolanda Garcia was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia. She completed an undergraduate degree in systems engineering from Universidad Industrial de Santander. Yolanda always dreamed of living in another country and planned to immigrate to the United States, but her visa application was refused three times. Although Yolanda thought about immigrating to Australia, she chose Canada because she had acquaintances there and thought there would be more opportunities for immigrants. In 2006, Yolanda immigrated to Canada under the skilled worker program.

In Canada, Yolanda studied English and French full-time at the YMCA in Waterloo, Ontario and then completed a program that helped new immigrants find work in their fields. This helped her find work as a Web page translator. She later got a job at the Canadian National Railway Company in Montreal.

In 2010, Yolanda started her master’s degree in information systems security at Concordia University in Montreal. While doing her master’s degree, she opened her own security consulting company. She still works as an independent security consultant today. In Montreal, Yolanda met her husband, David, and the couple was married in 2009.

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