These vloggers are telling Latinos looking to migrate what Island life is like

·3 min read
Jaime Tinoco Tejeida, Sara Bolaños Cordero and their sons, Jaime and Máximo, have been vlogging about their life in P.E.I. for the last three years. (Submitted by Mexican Family in P.E.I./YouTube - image credit)
Jaime Tinoco Tejeida, Sara Bolaños Cordero and their sons, Jaime and Máximo, have been vlogging about their life in P.E.I. for the last three years. (Submitted by Mexican Family in P.E.I./YouTube - image credit)

Maria Gomez has been vlogging for almost as long as she's been in Canada.

Gomez came to the country from Bogotá, Colombia, almost five years ago as part of a Grade 12 exchange student program in New Brunswick. When her plane landed, she immediately found herself in a place she didn't know a lot about.

"Back in Colombia, I was trying to find information about Atlantic Canada and I couldn't find anything," she said. "I couldn't find more information about jobs, how could I apply to things? How could I see where I was going to live? And so that kind of stressed … my family a bit."

Thinking that there may be people who'd be in the same position as her, Gomez, who's now about to graduate from UPEI, decided to take matters into her own hands.

She created a YouTube channel named Una Colombiana en Canada (A Colombian woman in Canada) and started posting videos where she talks about things Latin Americans may want to know before they migrate to the region.

Her first video was titled "I moved to the coldest place in the world." Another, specific to P.E.I., is called "Why I chose Prince Edward Island."

"I talk about the [educational] institutions, I show tours about the institutions, and I talk about how you could make it here," she said. "If you're studying, if you want to work, if you have family, if you don't. I show you a little bit of how you can emigrate to Canada safely and legally and what options do you have."

But some of her videos go beyond the immigration process, and discuss what life here is like.

"There's always questions like … 'how should I dress [for] the bus? But the transportation benefits for students? How do I get my health card?' All that, all those things that immigrants do whenever they get here."

Her favourite videos to make are the ones where she gets to be a bit of a tour guide and visit places such as provincial parks.

Gomez's channel has almost 24,000 subscribers and over 1 million views.

Submitted by Maria Gomez
Submitted by Maria Gomez

'A great country'

Similarly to Gomez, Jaime Tinoco Tejeida and Sara Bolaños Cordero said they found it difficult to get any information about what immigration to the Island was like before they moved from Tijuana, Mexico.

"We don't find nothing about P.E.I, how to settle here or how to subscribe the kids in the school or register for Health P.E.I.," said Tinoco Tejeida, who's currently a student in Holland College.

Their YouTube channel is called Mexican Family in P.E.I. and is catered to all types of immigrants, but particularly those who want to come along with their families.

Their videos feature the couple and their two sons, Jaime and Máximo, though the children don't like to show up that often.

"They're a little shy," Bolaños Cordero said.

Since they started vlogging three years ago their channel has accrued 13,000 subscribers and 682,000 views.

Tinoco Tejeida said they've gotten plenty of comments from people who watched their videos before deciding to move to the Island.

"In Walmart, one time, a couple they came [to] us and they told me they were from Brazil," he said. "In Brazil, they speak Portuguese, not Spanish. And they say 'we saw your video in Spanish and we understand a little [bit]. And that's why we're here in P.E.I.'"

Bolaños Cordero said that living in Canada with her family has been like a "dream," and that she's very happy to share her experiences in the country.

"Living here last three years has been wonderful. We love nature, the quiet, the peace," Bolaños Cordero said.

"We always try to convey to our followers that Canada is a great country full of opportunities for all those who want to come."

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