Globe, Multiculture, Profiles, United Kingdom

Mayela Meza: Love, sacrifice and new geographies

Her love for her children, along with the desire to see them be successful, drove her to start a new life in a nation where she had never even been before. A multicultural nation, that receives immigrants from different parts of the country.

 

   Natacha Andueza Bosch

 

She was born in 1964 in Valencia, Venezuela, where she had the chance to experience the best period in the country by the side of her husband, who was president of the largest petrol production company in Venezuela.

Mayela left her homeland at the age of 26 and moved to the United States where she lived for 17 years.

After that, she moved to Tenerife and, in 2010, she made the decision to abandon the island and launch her new journey towards unknown territory.

Despite the stability that the island of Tenerife gave her, Mayela decided to leave for England, with the sole objective of one of her children fulfilling their desire to study for a university degree in Britain.

With no support, and in complete ignorance of the place when she arrived, Mayela landed at London Gatwick with two of her children. She settled into a hotel where she spent 15 days until she found a house in a newspaper called Friday Newspaper. It was located in Crawley, near where her son’s university was located. Today she still lives there.

Nevertheless, she admits that it was difficult to find a suitable area with her prospects and explains that for any immigrant, the requirements needed when renting a house are extremely difficult, and for an immigrant who is alone, it is even worse.

She always rented for a short period and quickly made another move. This lifestyle gets costly, and in the periods where she had no job, the situation became impossible.

Despite the difficulties, Mayela says that she has much to be thankful for to the country because it allowed her children to access one of the best educational systems in the world. There is nothing that makes her prouder than having seen them become professionals. “I think that the cultural factor also has a lot of influence on all the inhabitants of the United Kingdom who are not British citizens as such, but unfortunately one has to adapt”, she says.

Mayela explains that the United Kingdom is quite a cold country, both in terms of weather and people. It has often been difficult for her to adapt to this reality and she even felt, at certain times, that she could not stand it any longer. However, she kept moving forward as she was conscious that her effort was worth it and that she would see this reflected in her children in the future.

Today, her children are independent professionals. One of them works as an architect in the centre of London and her daughter graduated in film production.

Mayela herself continues living in the same area and says that, in this area, there are a large amount of job offers due to the proximity to Gatwick airport, where she is currently working as a cleaner.

“I am very happy with my job and with the atmosphere at work, as my colleagues are from all over the world. Unfortunately, the work that we do is the work that English citizens do not like doing”, she explains. Of her Latin American compatriots, she has a somewhat singular perception, as in the ten years she has spent living and working in London, she has had the impression that the community that exists in the country is “troublesome and selfish”.

In her opinion – an opinion that many do not share: “They are not used to working as a team so they always try to cause contentious problems among themselves”.

Mayela would like to return to Spain and spend the rest of her life in some part of the country, probably the Canary Isles. “I have already done my job in this country, now it is my children’s turn to explore new paths and spread their wings. I have already given them all the tools for them to be successful people”, she concludes.

(Translated by Donna Davison – Email: donna_davison@hotmail.com)Photos: Pixabay

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