Latin Americans face a stubborn pay gap in Canada, data shows

Immigrants’ labour force has become indispensable in Canada due to aging demographics. Through our most recent exploratory research and drawing from 2016 census data, we analyzed how well Latinos are doing in terms of economic integration.

Across the board, Latin Americans earned less than the average Canadian. This produces unequal economic conditions, and can make coming to, and working in Canada more difficult. In order to reach economic parity with the average Canadian, Latino workers have to overcome multiple barriers. These include accent and language obstacles, professional accreditation issues, discriminatory hiring processes and the effect of gender.

Latinos’ economic integration journey requires both individual and collective efforts as well as policy interventions to ensure good outcomes for this vital labour force group. Read the full article in The Conversation Canada, the National Post, Yahoo News, Flipboard, Foreign Affairs New Zewaland, and the Philippine Canadian Inquirer.


NPR USA Latino Two Things You May Have Missed in Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’Two things you may have missed in Roma SALON

January 8, 2019: Two things you may have missed in Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’

“Alfonso Cuarón’s film Roma has been fittingly being praised for both technical features and the powerful stories it tells about daily life in Mexico in the 1970s. The film, however, contains subtle but important elements that have been largely ignored by critics so far: uneven power relations mediated by class, gender, age, affection, ethnicity, race and the urban/rural divide.”

Read the full article in The Conversation Canada here (English) or The Conversation Spain here (Spanish), or The Conversation Québec here (French). Republished in The National Post (Canada), Huffington Post (Québec), Entrepreneur (USA), NPR’s Latino (USA), Salon (USA), Univision (USA), Latino Rebels (USA), Alternet (USA), The Week (India), Mexico News Daily, Culture Matters (UK),  El Diario (Spain), El Comercio (Spain), El Plural (Spain), ContraInformación (Spain), TheCult (Spain), Conexión Migrante (USA and Mexico), and CZN Mundo.

Policy Options by Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP)

August 7, 2018: Central Americans need more than Canadian handwringing

“The migrant crisis at the US-Mexico border is thousands of kilometers from Canada, but Ottawa could do more than just watch with concern.”

Interviewed by Ryan Hicks for this comprehensive analysis of Central American immigration. Read the full article, published by the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP)’s Policy Options magazine, here.

The World This Weekend CBC Radio 1

July 7, 2018: Central American migration to the North

“Migrants continue to make the challenging journey to try to get across the US border. Many of the children and adults are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the so-called Northern triangle. The humanitarian crisis these migrants are fleeing is complex, and some say Canada needs to adjust its foreign policy to offer more support.”

Listen to the radio story (20:14′), where I was interviewed by Ryan Hicks, journalist and McGill University‘s McBurney Latin America Fellow, for CBC Radio 1’s The World This Weekend. Hick’s piece won Amnesty International Canada’s 24th Annual Media Award.

July 1, 2018: Mexican Elections

“Third time’s the charm. Andrés Manuel López Obrador won Mexico’s presidential election Sunday after two previous failed runs. What does his victory mean for Mexicans?”

Interviewed for CBC Radio 1’s Ottawa Morning show. You can listen the interview here.

Central America, immigration, refugee, moral obligation, CandaCentral America, Immigration, Refugee, Moral obligation

Our moral obligation to Central American migrants (Op-Ed) June 2018

“A significant number of Central American migrants are likely Canada-bound due to the ongoing immigration and security turmoil in the United States. Since people will keep migrating to survive, the associated risks and costs of migrating will also escalate. Consequently, Canada needs to enact inter-related migration and foreign policy measures that take into account the reasons why people claim asylum. These actions must go beyond Band-Aid solutions and ineffective strategies.”

Read my full op-ed in The Conversation here.

Latin America Caribbean Political Economy CKCU 93.1 FM

Soy Latinoamérica

I produced and hosted the radio show Soy Latinoamérica at CKCU 93.1 FM, from August 2013 to June 2017. Soy Latinoamérica was a bilingual variety radio show that presented the Latin America and the Caribbean rich musical, cultural, and social diversity to diverse audiences in the Ottawa/Gatineau region and Canada in general. The show was enriched with the participation of different personalities, ranging from the national musical scene (Latina/o-Caribbean and Latina/o-Caribbean descent artists) to professionals with different backgrounds, artists, activists, students, scholars, and representatives of diverse Latin American national communities. Soy Latinoamérica also offered a space to broader members of the Ottawa/Gatineau community to present information about relevant social issues, ranging from disability to poverty to homelessness. The show was mainly hosted in English, although Spanish was also spoken, since one of the show’s objectives was to attract English-only speaking audiences. You can find a selection of interviews here, which I made over the almost 4 years that the radio show was produced, and also listen the respective podcast of each program. The full playlist of all the programs is here.

Latin America Caribbean Carleton University Alejandro Hernandez

Latin America and Caribbean Studies e-Bulletin (Carleton University)

I was the editor of the e-Bulletin of Latin America and Caribbean Studies at Carleton University, from May 2013 to January 2016. I visually revamped the e-bulletin and established a monthly program of distribution, as well as increased the number of subscribers.

Migrant Dreams Min Sook Lee Evelyn Encalada Lisa Valencia Canada TFWP

Migrant Dreams

On October 6, 2016, I organized the screening of Migrant Dreams at Carleton University, a powerful feature documentary by multiple award-winning director Min Sook Lee (El Contrato, Hogtown, Tiger Spirit) and Emmy award-winning producer Lisa Valencia-Svensson (Herman’s House). After the secreening, Prof. Min Sook Lee and activist Dr. Evelyn Encalada from Justicia for Migrant Workers were in attendance for a Q&A session.

Migrant Dreams tells the undertold story of migrant agricultural workers struggling against Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) that treats foreign workers as modern-day indentured labourers. Under the rules of Canada’s migrant labour program, low wage migrants are tied to one employer.

Migrant Dreams exposes the underbelly of the Canadian government labour program that has built a system designed to empower brokers and growers to exploit, dehumanize and deceive migrant workers who have virtually no access to support or information in their own language. Workers willing to pay exorbitant fees to work at minimum wage jobs packing the fruits and vegetables we eat in our homes. Migrant workers who deserve basic labour and human rights. Canada it seems, has failed them.