things that matter

Deportees Sent To Mexico Are Being Given A Chance To Join Mexico’s Growing Tech Industry

@marcetorresg / Twitter

For many young deportees and immigrants returning to Mexico finding a job is a hard task. Especially for those that who have spent significant amounts of time in the U.S. That difficulty is compounded when they find out the education they received in the U.S. doesn’t always transferHola Code, a tech boot camp based in Mexico City, is trying to change that by giving deportees and immigrants skills and networking opportunities in the tech industry. The company got its start in 2017 and has taken advantage of the growing demand for software engineers and the enormous potential talent of youth in Mexico.

The average student at Hola Code is 18-35 years old and has been living within the U.S. for about a decade or longer.

Hola Code, designed after Hack Reactor, a popular coding school in San Francisco, throws students into an intensive 20-week course that trains them in tech and prepares them to be placed in high paying tech jobs. Students receive a monthly stipend while attending the training. Students also do not have to pay for the tuition until they secure a job as software engineers after graduating and are making at least 20,000 Mexican pesos a month.

Many participants in the program are former Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries that have either been deported or returned to Mexico.

Many of the students in the program are former participants of DACA, the U.S. immigration policy that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Since the uncertainty that the policy would survive due to the Trump administration, young people have either been deported or returned to Mexico looking for job opportunities that they couldn’t obtain in the U.S.

Jobs are opening as a result of Mexico’s recent leaps in the tech industry.

Marcela Torres, one of the founders of Hola Code, says the young people taking on the program are finding opportunities they may have never found if they stayed in the U.S. “We were given this gift from the United States,” Torres told MarketPlace.org .”I know it’s horrible to say it that way, because I know they miss it, and they call it home. But if Mexico really took the opportunity and used their potential, it could be endless.”

The cost for students to attend Hola Code? Nothing.

Hola Code is creating a culture of building community and ensuring the company can continue to give this life changing opportunity to others. The salary graduates receive is a life changing amount of money in a country with a struggling economy.

Students who have completed the program at Hola Code have found jobs they could never imagine.

Eddy Barranon, who grew up in Illinois, was deported to Mexico City last year. He is a student at Hola Code who faced uncertainty when he first arrived in Mexico. After he finished the program, he became one of many students who have not only found a job in the tech industry but have found themselves.

“Now that I’m back in Mexico and actually being someone, and having a career, it’s awesome,” Barranon told CGTN America. “It’s something that I never thought I would have because of the chances I didn’t have over there in the United States.”


READ: This Organization Is Offering Undocumented Immigrants Facing Deportation Free Legal Help

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that share button below!

Let's Revisit The Times Four Salvadoran Men Skateboarded From El Salvador To The US To Flee Gang Violence

Things That Matter

Let’s Revisit The Times Four Salvadoran Men Skateboarded From El Salvador To The US To Flee Gang Violence

levivonk / Instagram

Exactly three years ago this week, Rolling Stone published a piece detailing the extent four guys went through to flee the gang violence surrounding them in El Salvador. The four men crossed thousands of miles north to the U.S. with skateboards as their main form of transportation.

Known as the four skaters, or patinetos, Kelvin, Rene, Kevin and Eliseo all told writer Levi Vonk their harrowing stories of how they had formed a brotherhood through skating, one they were willing to trust while migrating north undocumented.

Vonk talked to NPR’s Latino USA about how he was living in Mexico at the time as a Fulbright Scholar and encountered these four skaters whizzing by on their boards. He was at a migrant rights’ march at the time in Oaxaca.

“They wanted to go to LA because it’s the land of skaters and glitz, and they heard it had jobs, and they heard it had good skating,” Vonk told Latino USA.

Kelvin was the oldest of the group, 27 at the time, while the other skaters were all 20. Skateboarding had allowed for the four skaters to escape the pressures of living under gripping violence, but it was also a risk that surrounded them on the streets.

“It’s discouraged by the gangs who run the areas. It’s discouraged because they see it as a threat to their power within the neighborhoods,” Vonk said.

“For many of the skaters that’s what it was all about—was actively choosing a life that isn’t about violence,” Vonk added. “That isn’t about extorting others, it isn’t about harming others.”

The four friends had had enough with the gang violence when several local skaters ended up in the hospital in March of 2015. They grabbed the little money they had, a change of clothes and started their journey north from El Salvador in the dead of night, skating 350 miles to the southern tip of Guatemala. It took them about a week to make it from San Salvador to the southern tip of Mexico, according to Rolling Stone. They slept in church shelters or on the street, and receiving free food from other skaters.

“That’s how we break borders with skating,” Kelvin told Rolling Stone. “We can connect with other guys practicing our sport.”

Kelvin also said local Mexican skaters protected them and invited them to party with them, and that they had ‘nothing but love for their Mexican brothers.’

Once the four skaters made it to Mexico, Kevin and Eliseo were apprehended in Mexico City by immigration officials and put back on a plane to El Salvador.

The remaining guys took buses north through Mexico with the little money their families sent along. They managed to make it to the U.S. border, but the easy part of the journey wasn’t over yet.

Vonk wrote the two skaters got their skateboards taken away by coyotes, but they were able to cross into the U.S. with their help.

The article ends with Rene and Kelvin waiting it out at a coyote’s house and a follow-up piece was never written leaving the story unfinished.

In the NPR interview, audiences were told a little bit more about the whereabouts of the four skaters at that time: Eliseo and Kevin were trying to make it north again, Kelvin was at a coyote’s house in Texas and Rene had been detained at the Rio Grande Detention Center.

“When skateboarding started, they broke the rules because they were prohibited from skating,” Kelvin told Rolling Stone. “There are some that still think that skating is bad. But it’s better to be on a skateboard, breaking barriers, breaking the law because, in reality, the world shouldn’t have borders.”

Read the full Rolling Stone article here.


READ: This Three-Year-Old Latino Skateboarder Takes Slams And Gets Buck In This Vid

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Paid Promoted Stories