I kinda miss that because I found here nice people which I call my friends and they are really close and I love them but it is not like the same bond you can share.

I am Ruben Adarme, I am from Venezuela and 29 years old and I have been living here for one year and a half.

Back in Venezuela I can say I was one of the lucky ones. I guess you heard about what was going on there. During my childhood we were below medium class, but after that my family had a farm, a really big one. So in a few years the farm started making a lot of money. We were not rich but we started having a better life. After that, all this crisis started and we went back to medium class. But the medium class is slowly disappearing in Venezuela. It is either you have a lot of money which is very few people or you are really poor. I guess I had a normal life and I’m thankful for that. But right now I guess if I were still there it would be harder for me being a normal person.


I think what I like the most are the people. Even if it is not the same bond as you have with your family and friends back in your country.

What I have seen here in Spain is not the same kind of strong connection we had in Venezuela. I feel that here people celebrate birthdays with family and close friends. Like 10 people is a lot of people for a social gathering. In Venezuela it is like 30 people and all that 30 people are really close friends and family. Like the cousin of a cousin and the wife of another cousin and they can bring their kids, and all that is your close family. I kinda miss that because I found here nice people which I call my friends and they are really close and I love them but it is not like the same bond you can share. Besides that, Venezuela is a really beautiful place. We have everything, we have cool mountains, we have a desert, we have really beautiful beaches. Those are the things I miss from Venezuela. I don’t like the beaches in Barcelona. Beaches here are very cold and dark.

Before leaving I was about to start a business in Venezuela. We had this huge family farm, I worked there and I was going to college studying something related to veterinary. But at one point I really wanted something of my own. I was using these connections I had already and I wanted to start buying cheese and milk in the countryside and sell it to the city. It was all going well, but we had a blackout in the whole country for an entire week. I lost a lot of money, because I could sell only a few products, so after that I just started giving away stuff. During that week I wasn’t mad or anything but it felt that i wasn’t  sure about what was going on here. It was an entire week of darkness. I can’t say I was depressed or anything. It’s weird but at least I enjoyed those days because we were sharing with the neighbors and family all week. During sometime I started to feel unconfident in what I was able to do here. I had this opportunity, I decided to come. Does it mean that I was going to lose everything?  So then I decided that I wanted to leave. I have a friend in Barcelona, I met her playing online games 12 years ago. She went to Venezuela, she is from Spain, and we met each other. In our friendship group she is the only one from Spain and we are all from Venezuela. She went there twice, and she always told me whenever you wanna leave you can come. But I was really optimistic about Venezuela. I was like ‘I’m not the one who needs to leave’. At the same time I felt this urge, that I want to create something by my own. I don’t wanna live under my family business my whole life. Basically, I felt like I was being supported by my parents. I was 27 years old, I needed to do something on my own. I lost my opportunity, so I decided to start new here.

When I arrived in Barcelona, I got a job very quickly because my  friend was working in a cannabis club and she told her boss and they gave me a job as a receptionist there. But after that the club closed and I started doing glovo with a borrowed account because I didn’t have papers yet. I didn’t have a lot of problems with that because I asked for refugee asylum. They gave it to me really quickly but you have to wait six months to be able to work. During those six months I was doing glovo. Then I found a job in a restaurant and everything seemed ok, I was a dishwasher. Then, COVID came and the restaurant put me in ERTE. Basically, I haven’t received any of that money yet and I had to get a loan from the bank to survive during those months. After that, the restaurant reopened and I saved a lot of money just by eating there. My salary was to pay the rent, the services and the loan from the bank. Then they closed the bars and restaurants one month ago again and I was really nervous, I didn’t know what to do. But the next day, and I’m really thankful for that, I got a call from Webhelp and I got a job there, a really nice job. Everything seems fine now. Right around the same time I got the job at the restaurant I also got this scholarship in Migracode. I did all the courses and they helped me a lot to find this job at Webhelp.


If covid had not happened I guess it would be a totally different story. But basically I got the many issues that I haven’t got any of the ERTE money. It is something I don’t know if I can count on or not. Besides that, I guess starting a new life is always a really hard experience. Getting my red card and renewing this was a really difficult situation and the only safe way to do it fast is paying someone to get the appointment for you.

Right now, it’s my first month as a trainee but I think next month everything will be different. It will be the first time in almost two years that I will have money in my account to carry out my own projects.The money I had before was to pay for everything and then I would have 15 euros left in my account. Basically, I just bought food with all that. Now if I want to go to see a movie I can do it, if I want to buy a video game I can do it. It’s difficult because in Venezuela those things are luxury. We used to work hard for that. When I came here I was in the same situation but I never lost hope. I knew everything is temporary even in a hard situation. The opposite is also true, being in a good situation is also temporary, so you have to manage all the opportunities all the time. Now I am starting to realize I have the opportunity to have a normal life.

I guess the entire world is aware of what is going on in Venezuela. But the only thing I can say is whatever you have seen on tv, you can multiply it by 10, and that is the reality there. It is not like you see in the television and news at all. Any Venezuelan would say “I like to have electric power as well as the internet for 24h a day”. This is normal. I don’t value those things that much. My favorite thing here is people: they are really nice. People told me that Europeans are very cold. Nevertheless, people I’ve met here are very nice. When I talk to some spanish they say that Catalans are  the worst. To be honest, everyone has been so nice here in Catalonia. I think what I like the most are the people. Even if it is not the same bond as you have with your family and friends back in your country.

In terms of professional goals, the first thing is my current job. Right now I’m customer care, so if people have issues with their google drive I’m the guy they will call. But I noticed that I could have opportunities thanks to this job, so I want to be a good employee and be the best in all. Like that I can grow within the company and the projects. I think I will be able to do it. I’m a very minimalist person if I have a PC in which I can play games and talk to my friends. I’m just happy with that. I guess a dream would be to grow within the company and just have a life where I don’t need to worry about money. I don’t mean be rich, I mean have the stability, and if I want to travel, I travel. If I want to give something to someone, I give. If I want to help someone who is in a very bad situation, I help. I don’t care if I don’t live in a mansion, I just want that kind of financial stability. This is my career goal. Moreover, I can’t leave Spain for two more years. So after that I want to go back to Venezuela, to see my family or even bring some of them here. My family doesn’t want to leave Venezuela, but I’m sure they won’t stay. They will come even for a visit during a couple of months. Another thing that I would love is to travel within Spain. It’s the only thing I can do at the moment.

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Amanda Vieira
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