Meet Mariana Rocha 

What was the biggest challenge when you arrived in Canada?
The biggest challenge I faced when arriving in Canada was leaving my family behind. That was before Skype, Facetime and social media were easily available so the distance seemed greater.

What do you miss the most about your home town?
I lived most of my childhood in a relatively small town. I miss the friendliness, the sense of belonging that it provides. Where everyone seems to know each other and we call our friend’s parents “uncles and aunties” because you’ve known them for so long that they became part of your family as well.

Did you have any frustrations coming here and did you overcome of them? How?
Learning a new language can be very frustrating. Not been able to communicate well can be devastating and having an accent to remind everyone that you are a foreigner isn’t reassuring. To overcome that I had to remind myself that Canada is a relatively new country! So we are all immigrants or the sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of immigrants. And Canadians are very patient and accommodating people.

What do you like the best about Canada?
What I love the best about Canada is that people still seem to care. People not only can voice their opinions but most importantly, can be heard and have their opinions taken into consideration! Where dreams and hopes can still be built upon.

Read Mariana's story: Dance to Live


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