LEDC (London, Ontario, Canada)

Success stories

Names: Maria Guiomar Cabra and Edgar Marquez
Country of Origin: - Colombia

Past Employment:
Lawyers
London Region Employer and Position:
Lerners, Law Clerks

Edgar and Guiomar and their young son came to Canada via the U.S. as refugees. In Colombia, they were threatened with death by guerillas who opposed their involvement in an organization working with the poor of their community. Leaving their country meant leaving their home, their money, their family and friends.

They began their Canadian employment in jobs to pay the bills – a retail clerk for Guiomar, and waiting on tables for Edgar. London lawyer Mark Lerner met Edgar at the restaurant where he worked, and helped arrange a contract training placement for both Edgar and Guiomar at Lerners – a London law firm. Both are now working at Lerners as law clerks.

“There have been days in our journey when we thought, ‘We are safe, we are alive – that is all that is important,’ but we also want to work and build a new life for our family,” says Guiomar.

Edgar agrees, “Every day we are thinking how lucky we are to be given the chance to work in this company. We have been given the opportunity to show Canada what we can do.”

Both agree that the major challenges have been improving their language skills, and learning the ‘social rules’ of their new country.


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