Blogs

The Brave Ones

Gwen Reimer, Blog Coordinator
Program Director, EIS

July 5, 2022

Read Time: 3 minutes


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Moving to a new country is not for the faint of heart. Learning a new language, new culture and of course, weather can be daunting. Every year, people from around the globe take the risks of moving from their home countries to a new one, facing obstacles that are overwhelming, leaving loved ones for the hope of a future.

Vic is one of the brave ones. When Vic was a kid, he and his siblings watched a movie that sparked the idea of moving to Canada. Vic wanted to have a life of opportunity. But, as time passed, ideas faded, and Vic soon forgot about his dream of something different.

When his sister immigrated to Canada years later, something stirred in Vic and the dream of moving to a land of opportunity awakened.

Vic, a jeepney driver at the time, realized that his dream was not going to happen if he didn’t make big changes in his life. In 2016, he decided to become a truck driver in another country. This had its own set of challenges – there were few regulations in this country and working conditions were dangerous. Late one night, while Vic was desperately trying to stay awake at the wheel, he watched a blogger who talked about the need for truck drivers in Canada. Vic knew this is what he wanted to do but there were challenges that needed to be overcome – namely writing an English test that cost close to a month’s salary.

For one year, using YouTube as his teacher, Vic studied for the IELTS test (language proficiency test). There were more requirements – police check, application fees, medicals – in total Vic spent $3,000 CDN which could cover six months of food and bills in his home country. Once he arrived in Manitoba, he needed to be prepared for the additional costs – housing, food, vehicle, and training.

“It’s like I spent my wealth here, because that money, if spent wisely, it could cover up to six months of food and bills.” ~ Vic Roumel Gutierrez

The day Vic stepped on the plane to leave for Canada, his five-year-old daughter begged him not to go. Vic had missed a significant portion of his son and daughter’s lives while he was away driving in another country. They had finally spent time together during the year before he left. And now, daddy was leaving. His daughter didn’t need any of the things he promised he would buy her. She only wanted her daddy nearby. Nothing else mattered to her.

Vic left that day hoping, one day soon, his family would join him in Canada where his daughter and son would have the life he had always wanted for them, with him there to watch them have the opportunities he never had.

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