Multiculture, Profiles

Lisbeth and her dream of being a teacher

The young Ecuadorian came from Spain to escape the economic crisis that the Iberian country is facing. She currently works as a cleaner and is studying to improve her English.


Lisbeth y su sueño 3When Lisbeth was only five-years-old she and her family migrated from Quito, the capital of Ecuador, to Spain in order to settle in Madrid. They wanted to try their luck and get a job, which would allow them to cope in their new home.

At that age, Lisbeth wasn’t aware that she had to leave Ecuador so that her family could make a living in another country and she didn’t know that 17 years later, she was going to have to do the same thing and emigrate to get a job.

Lisbeth y su sueño 4A year ago, Lisbeth realised that she needed to leave Madrid. She got on a plane, which would land in the capital of the UK with her sister, who is only a year younger than her.

“It was very hard to decide what to do but the situation is Spain is really bad,” said the young Ecuadorian, who also saw leaving the country as an opportunity to study in the United Kingdom.

With European passports, which they got after obtaining Spanish nationality, it was much easier to enter the country. However, upon arriving in London they were met by the harsh reality that they were alone in a city, which they knew nothing about.

Ecuador plan 34Fortunately, it’s not like that any more, “My mum met up with us a few months ago and now we all live together,” said Lisbeth smiling.

After spending a year living in London, she says that she likes the city a lot, although she misses certain aspects of Spain, the country in which she lived in for more than 15 years. One aspect is the weather, “It’s really cold here,” Lisbeth moans.

With regards to Ecuador, she doesn’t know when she will return and recalls that the last time she visited her birth country was when she was 13-years-old.

En Ecuador se está 3Lisbeth, like many of her Latin American friends, works as a cleaner due to the limitations of not being fluent in English, although she claims: “We are standing up for ourselves.”

At 22-years-old and in the spare time that she has outside of work, she is studying English at a language school in order to improve her ability and to be able to access better job opportunities. In fact, she wants to go to university as soon as she can because she wants to study Early Childhood Education.

Regarding the Ecuadorian and Latin American communities in London, she believes that, generally speaking “There’s everything, both bad and good people, of course. Like there is everywhere.”

Ecuador plan 28She stresses that being an immigrant can cause problems, “There are people, especially in the workplace, who will take advantage of you if you don’t know the rules of the country,” claims the youngster.

Although she sees many Latin Americans deeply integrated into British society as something positive, she tends to regularly move around the area in which she lives, (Elephant & Castle, south of the Thames) mostly out of convenience.

After spending a year living in London, her near future plans consist of staying in London and preparing herself academically to become a teacher.


(Translated by Emma O’Toole)


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