I am thankful to OCC who gave me the opportunity to work for their organization. I work as a Spanish teacher for minors and foreigners, and an administrative assistant.
My name is Leidy and I am twenty-three years old. I am from El Salvador and was born in 1996. In El Salvador, I was studying at university for half a cycle of the first year of university. I was studying languages. I participated in a local channel in my city where I volunteered to edit local news. I also participated with other young people in a youth music program where we broadcasted live shows about important topics and interviewed the public. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Administrative Assistance and I did my internship in the town hall of my city where I lived. I also helped with the accounting of the business that my parents had.
I left my country when I was 19 years old. When I arrived in Barcelona, I started working at a clothing store, a job that a friend found for me. It was a good opportunity since without a reference, it is difficult to find a job. At first, it was difficult for me to find any job because I had no papers, I was not a resident and my asylum was denied to me and my family. We were working in an irregular way as they call it here; I was working without a contract and, during that time, without permission.
For a foreigner arriving in Spain, it was very difficult to start from scratch in a new country, however, communicating was very easy for me since Spanish is my native language. I was waiting for the moment to obtain my three-year residency in Spain and to be able to settle here permanently.
I worked like this until my request for asylum was denied. Then, a refugee organization managed to contact me and helped me with getting the right information in order to work. They sent me to another organization through the Catalonian government where they grant work permits with a contract or property for people who are in situations like mine. So, they managed to connect me to the Open Cultural Center, an organization where they work in the inclusion of refugees and migrants. I presented my application and documentation and now, I have a contract with them.
Five years ago, I moved with my family here to Barcelona, Spain. I currently live with my family in Mataró, a town near the beach, 45 minutes from Barcelona. In 2017, I did professional training in data registration and I did the internship in the office of the municipality of Mataró. I completed the restoration course and worked in the restoration sector.
I currently work at the Open Cultural Center, an organization that works towards inclusion of refugees through education in Barcelona. I am thankful to OCC who gave me the opportunity to work for their organization. I work as a Spanish teacher for minors and foreigners, and an administrative assistant. I also participate in cultural activities and workshops. I really like working for this organization as we are a cultural group and I am learning a lot from all my colleagues.
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Matias Chiofalo is a documentary photographer who focuses on social problems and the human being.