Things That Matter

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

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

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Americans Are Flocking To Mexico Amid The Pandemic And Being Terrible Tourists In The Process

Things That Matter

Americans Are Flocking To Mexico Amid The Pandemic And Being Terrible Tourists In The Process

Despite being one of the world’s hardest hit countries by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mexico never once closed its doors to international tourism. In fact, the country has worked hard to lure travelers from the U.S. as Americans faced increasingly tough restrictions at home. This has had a profound impact on the country’s experience with Covid-19, with so many Mexicans either falling ill themselves or knowing someone who has.

With so many Mexicans having first hand experience with the virus, it makes sense why so many have strong opinions about tourist’s behaviors while visiting the country.

Tourists are still welcomed in Mexico but their bad behavior is not.

Most Mexicans agree with their government’s open borders approach during the pandemic, since the alternative would have meant even worse economic situation for a country already suffering record levels of poverty. But the influx of tourists to the country has brought with it a level of resentment at those who fail to follow local health guidelines while on vacation.

Mexico never closed its airports to tourists and one walk down a block in Mexico City’s popular Condesa or Roma neighborhoods and you’ll spot American tourists within minutes – many failing to wear a mask. The problem is even more severe in popular tourist destinations like Oaxaca.

There, tourists often travel from the bustling city of Oaxaca into remote villages where Indigenous residents have even less access to proper medical care.

Residents fear that tourists feel they are exempt from local Covid-19 guidelines.

Many residents who have had their own personal experience with the coronavirus has made them sensitive to the pandemic situation in their community. As case numbers continued to rise, many noticed more tourists defying widely practiced public-health protocols, like wearing face masks in public.

On Feb. 25, a popular photographer from Oaxaca, Frank Coronado, posted a plea to his 171,000 Instagram followers: “Dear travelers, you are welcome in Oaxaca, but you should ALWAYS wear a mask when you are in public places.”

He wanted to publicly address the issue and encourage visitors to do better — particularly foreigners who travel from Oaxaca City into smaller rural villages, where artisans are even more vulnerable. He told the Washington Post, “I get mad because I already went through [covid-19] and know how bad it feels. I don’t want my people, the people of Oaxaca, to get sick.”

With an economy based on services, many don’t have the freedom to work from home.

Many in Mexico don’t have the luxury of isolating from tourists — such as Aurora Tostado, who owns the downtown coffee shop Marito & Moglie with her husband.

“People in Mexico, we have to get out of our homes to work. It’s not like we can work remotely like most of the people in the U.S.,” Tostado told the Washington Post. Like others in hospitality, Tostado benefits financially from having tourists, and she is happy to welcome them back, she says. She just hopes they will consider the chain reaction of their behavior as they enjoy the culture that makes her city special

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Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

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Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico has remained a popular tourist destination as people seek out places with fewer restrictions. However, Mexico’s popular beach destination of Tulum apparently still has some restrictions – for LGBTQ folks – that the police are quick to enforce.

A Canadian couple was briefly detained by police for allegedly kissing on the beach.

Police in the popular resort town of Tulum, about 90-minutes south of Cancun, briefly arrested a gay couple for kissing in public on a beach, alleging that the couple was not allowed to kiss in public because children were present.

According to local media reports, police said they were reacting to a report by someone else on the beach who had claimed that the men were “committing immoral acts.”

The couple were handcuffed together and ordered in to the back of a patrol vehicle until a crowd of onlookers formed and began to shout disapprovingly at police after one of the men explained to the crowd why they were being detained.

Outraged bystanders gathered around the couple and urged the police to let the men go.

The crowd began shouting in support of the couple, calling the actions homophobic and demanding the couple’s release.

The pressure from the crowd apparently prompted officers to release the men after a few minutes of dialogue. The presence of Escalante herself might also have been a factor.

In response to the arrest, Quintana Roo Tulum Police said: ‘We are an inclusive and impartial police both for residents and tourists who visit the state of Quintana Roo. So no abuse of authority will be tolerated.’

Video of the incident quickly went viral on social media with outrage being the common reaction.

Video and photos of the arrest went viral after on social media accounts, including that of local politician Maritza Escalante Morales, who denounced the actions of the officers. Escalante happened to be at the beach with her family when she noticed the officers approach the couple, she said, and joined the crowd to advocate for the couple’s release.

“I want to file a PUBLIC COMPLAINT, because the treatment and type of authorities we have in our municipality is inexcusable. Yesterday while I was on the beach with my family, we noticed around 4:30 that 2 police squads in their ATVs approached a group of young foreigners. After about 20 minutes, a patrol arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs,” she explained on TikTok.

“The policemen were VIOLENT,” Morales added, “and gave arguments such as ‘there are families and children and they cannot be seeing this. I am FURIOUS because it is not possible that in the XXI century this type of oppression against the LGBT+ community continues. We all deserve the same treatment, and appropriate sanctions must be applied to these authorities.”

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