Multiculture, Profiles

“I do not feel fully integrated in society”

He claims not to be completely integrated with the English community, and his inner circle are Latinos living in the city. Language is still a problem for him in these first few months.


Juanjo Andrés Cuervo


A Spanish son of Colombian parents,  Antonio Diaz was working in the hospitality industry in Alicante until he became unemployed. He had studied a course in food and beverages in Cartagena.

At 27-years-old he has made the difficult decision to leave his wife, his home and his friends for opportunities that his home country denied him. London was his destination.

Antonio came to the English capital in mid-February this year. For the first few weeks he was fortunate enough to stay at a friends house who had settled in London a while ago. He now lives in a shared house in Stockwell.

The search to find a job was difficult, especially because he “[does] not understand English too well.” It took a month to get a job. Those first few weeks were difficult for him because he had his expenses and no income. He survived thanks to the amount of money he had saved.

Currently working in a restaurant and doing housekeeping.

His days at work catering are five hours per day, while two hours per day are dedicated to cleaning.

Language is one of his weaknesses, he recognises that he has a basic level, but hopes to learn English to communicate with British society. “It’s a long process,” he says.

“I do not feel fully integrated in society” he reflects, and says that he spends most of his time with the Latino community in London. “We make friends, they help us to make a life, try to guide us in everything.” Life away from home is hard for everyone, and therefore Antonio would like to return to Spain to be with loved ones, although his intention is to save money and returned in “less than five years”. Some of the money that he earns in London is meant to pay his mortgage in Alicante.

Antonio thinks the standard of living in London is higher than in Spain, due to the greater amount of work in the English capital, although the exchange rate from pound to Euro makes England more expensive than his country.

He has visited his parents home several times in Colombia, a country that, according to his family, has improved greatly in the last decade due to the heavy investment made by foreign companies in previous years, growth has been driven by the fact that the currency is devalued. His loved ones living in South America are settled and have jobs. (The Prisma’ memoirs. Ausgust, 2014)

*Antonio: Fictitious name. Real story.

(Translated by Grace Essex: – Photos: Pixabay

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