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Colombians in Barcelona

By Margarita I. Gotay

     The reality of migration as we’ve discussed in class doesn’t comply with the myth about just the poor people leaving their countries for better opportunities. Yes, there are a few but migrants also include those of the middle class and upper class. In their discussion of “Latin America and the Caribbean: transition from immigration to emigration regions” in Stephen Castles &Mark Miller’s book The Age of Migration the authors state that colonizers once came into the lands of us Latins trying to get our profits, but now we are the ones leaving to find more opportunities,
     While n Spain my friend Jennifer and I met up with a friend of hers named Alex. Alex is Colombian; he is a twenty four year old man. Originally from Bogotá, Alex moved to the US for two years and now he is currently living in Spain. In Alex’s hometown he was well known and wealthy.

     On the other hand when he started trying to find a job in Spain luck wasn’t in his favor. When he would call for an interview the employer would notice his Colombian accent and wouldn’t give him an interview. Other employers would hang up the phone after they’d ask him where he was from. And one time he got an interview and they were going to hire him until he said he was Colombian.
     The only job he could find was handing out flyers, which pays twenty-five euros a day. He told us that when he gets his EU work papers, there will be more possibilities for him to get a good job having to do with what he studied, computer engineering. In the Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona I met another Colombian who told me he was having the same problem as Alex and many others.

     I ask myself if the Spanish rejection of these Latin immigrants has something to do with the first stages of migration, when the Spanish conquistadors conquered Latin America. Do Spanish people still have an air of superiority towards Latins because we were the conquered, the mistreated?  They can conquer our lands, kill our people but when we go to theirs looking for jobs they shut the doors at Latins.


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