Multiculture, Profiles

Camilo: “Searching for life somewhere new”

Despite only being 21-yearsold this young man from Colombia is certain of his motives for learning English. He hopes it will take him from a capital city to somewhere a little less expensive.


Camilo 07Camilio was born in Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca, which in the past 21 years has become the third most populated city in Colombia.

In 2001 Camilio’s family decided to leave their Latin-American home to move to Europe. With Spain as their country of choice, they left for the sunny city of Malaga in the southerly Mediterranean coast of Andalucía.

However, like many young Colombians who have grown up in Spain, Camilio finds himself now needing to emigrate once more – a consequence of the lack of work available to him in the Iberian Peninsula.

Camilo 03He was 10 years-old when he first arrived in Malaga and the majority of his friends and close circle also live there. It is where he grew up and also where he obtained his Spanish citizenship. Now, just over a decade later he views it as nearly an obligation to abandon his surroundings once more in search of work in London.

He has currently been living in the capital of the United Kingdom for the past 9 months, but he had been here before two and a half years ago. He returned to Spain for a holiday and stayed there for a year instead. However this was soon cut short and he had to return to England, this time he brought his girlfriend along with him.

Currently, he works as a cleaner. “I work five hours in the mornings and four in the afternoon, but realistically I’m usually finished earlier”, explains Camilio, while indicating that it is a very easy job.

Camilo 01“I do prefer working in the cleaning industry than to working as a waiter in a bar where I would have to work every day, Monday to Sunday. Instead with this job I have now, I have more time to do my own thing, to go the gym or to do some study” He adds cheerfully.

His main objective is to continue learning English “Little by Little”. “Although I am able to get by, I want to advance it to the next level” says Camilio.

Part of his plans for the not so distant future is to learn to speak the language well enough allowing him to “secure a life for myself somewhere new as London is proving very expensive. But we’ll see, who knows? Maybe it’ll go well here and I’ll decide to stay.”

Camilo 02What he does regret most about the move is the weather. “It’s very different to Malaga” However he does feel a good sense of community around other Colombians in the capital. “There are many things for us to do here and we really relate to all the other Latin Americans and Spanish people alike.”

While talking to us it is clear that Camilio is comfortable in London. “I like it because it’s a capital city and you can find everything you need with ease. Despite the fact that, yes I do prefer living in Spain; I’m not easily fazed by the differences in customs here.”

Although the majority of Latin Americans In the United Kingdom, roughly around 113,000, are based in London, Camilio may very well prove to be one of those who decide to leave the capital in search of opportunities in a city slightly less inundated.


(Translated by Koreen Walsh – Email:

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