To Save My Daughters

Israel Gonzalez, Guest Author
Settlement Facilitator, EIS

November 3, 2021

Read Time: 2 minutes

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My story is one that you can only watch in the news, movies, or crime stories. My situation in Mexico was like all those who enjoyed social and economic stability because we had access to studies at the university. However, despite my comfortable life, I was forced to leave my country due to the high level of violence experienced every day, leaving my parents and siblings in that scenario.

As everyone knows, Mexico has a huge problem with drug cartels. Sadly, there are other income sources for them like kidnapping, sex trafficking, and extortion. One objective of these gangs is to kidnap girls between the ages of twelve and fourteen so that they can be treated as sex slaves, sold in the sex trade, or held for ransom. When my daughters were that age, the fear that someone would take them by force and we would never see them again was one of the worst nightmares for me and my wife. Going to the police is a bad idea. Criminal gangs have infiltrated all levels of government. There is no security for families and especially for women.

Another reason that led us to leave Mexico was that shootings began to take place outside the elementary schools in the town where we lived. On one occasion, a girl died in a school bus from a stray bullet during a shooting. Can you imagine the fear of living like this every day?

My solution was to apply for a Canadian student visa and invest my savings in paying for international student tuition. I was able to bring my family legally, and my daughters were able to start a safe life in this country. My wife had to work for three years in two full-time jobs to pay our expenses and mortgage. Now I am able to work full-time and I hope, little by little, to pay off my debts derived from a long immigration process.

Currently, I have a BA in Human Rights with a minor in Conflict and Resolution Studies from the University of Winnipeg. One of my goals is to help families who have come to Canada looking for a safe life. I feel that the first step has already been taken by joining Eastman Immigrant Services as a Settlement Facilitator.

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