By Hope R. E. Young
Arriving in a new country to live in can present more challenges and changes to daily life than one might think, especially if you don’t speak the language. I remember the first few months I lived in Chile struggling to figure out where to buy simple things such as Advil or bread. It took me a while to learn that you don’t usually buy all your things at the grocery store, as you do in Canada, but that you actually need to hit a few places to get the basics…the bakery, pharmacy, grocery store, and maybe even a few others. When you add to that the lack of language, it can easily turn a simple day of errands into one of stressfully running from one place to the other. This is just an example from my experience of how a simple task can get complicated when you’re in a foreign country.
So why this example? Well, the way I see it is that just about anything can become complicated in an unfamiliar environment. That’s why I’ve created this map, with the support and guidance of Sasha. This map is meant to serve as a tool to help uncomplicate the first months or years of newcomers from Latin American countries in Canada, by locating all that is familiar. In addition, I’ve also added necessary services that a newcomer may be searching for, like language assessment, employment services, credential assessment, and more. Cultural groups are also included, to help in finding communities and events that connect people with their cultures. Finally, of course, anyone in a new country needs to know where their nearest consulate or embassy is, so those can also be found on the map.
The map can be found at the following link:
This map can be useful in identifying what services are not only available, but easily discoverable online, and highlighting areas that may be lacking in service or information-sharing.
I am hoping to continue adding to this map and finding more resources by connecting with agencies in Canada. If you know of any more resources that are not mapped or agencies that Hope can contact, please send an e-mail to Dr. Oleskandr (Sasha) Kondrashov firstname.lastname@example.org