Written by Esteban Medina.

“Even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there”.

Stephen Chbosky

Having moved through different countries teaches you an important lesson; new beginnings cannot only rely on knowing the latest hard facts. Evidently, it is imperative that you know well in advance facts such as city characteristics, population size, standard of living, immigration laws and job and educational opportunities. However, thinking of an extracurricular activity to do when arriving at the new destination can be the key to success.

Migratory world flows have become more complex and there is a migrant segment who most often lack resources, time and emotional stability to even think about doing a proper extracurricular activity. Nonetheless there are humanitarian organizations that are providing that segment of migrants with such activities to help integrate well into society. In my particular case the universe conspired to find the extracurricular activity that without expecting it would have influenced my life in profound ways.

Now, you must be wondering, is the organization that helped me, named MigraCode? Yes, indeed, not only because it appears in the article’s main title but also because I’m writing these lines to sell you what they do… Not quite!

First let’s ask the right question; what is MigraCode? MigraCode is a tech academy focused on giving migrants with disadvantaged backgrounds the knowledge and tools to overcome poor labour conditions and social inclusion that are tied to legal migration and skills. 

“When I discovered MigraCode I was facing uncertain times career-wise”.

Esteban Medina

When I discovered MigraCode I was facing uncertain times career-wise as I did not have the documentation to work legally in Spain and I was searching for networks related to the digital marketing sector that could lead to a job opportunity. Learning about it made me hesitant at first because my experience with web design had shown me only one side of the story; web programming was made for left-side brainers and it was hard.

In spite of having been biased at first, my willingness to put myself out of my comfort zone and learning new skills are embedded into my DNA; hence, I followed my inner voice that said “acquiring new skills can only help you grow”. To my surprise and without advertising it I had signed up for a web development bootcamp that was about to change my perception of things forever as two weeks into an in-class environment the Spanish government declared a national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and overnight MigraCode turned into an online school giving me the time and place to put my whole self into finishing the 8 months program. 

Esteban speaking at his graduation ceremony. / Photo: Open Cultural Center

Currently, I not only finished the Web Development program but also recently finished a second program IT Support & Security Course. Additionally, I’ve been able to apply to a marketing dream job in Adaptive Financial Consulting, one of the main MigraCode’s sponsors. Also, a big plus was meeting classmates who were in similar legal status situations as mine; thus getting paid below the National Minimum Wage just to be able to work in the Spanish informal market. Knowing their personal stories, I now know that they are happier having overcome the barriers of legality, perhaps now receiving a bit more than the minimum wage but truly enjoying living more meaningful and fruitful lives.

Therefore, as the future unfolds in front of me I cannot wait to step into the Spanish formal job market as it will allow me to creatively contribute to the people about, develop more positive surroundings and build stronger bonds with communities such as MigraCode. The best is yet to come!


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