Migrant Workers from El Salvador and Honduras Travel to Canada to Start New Jobs
Migrant Workers from El Salvador and Honduras Travel to Canada to
Start New Jobs – A first group of 57 migrants from El
Salvador and Honduras, selected by IOM and Maple Leaf Foods of
Canada for work in the company’s food processing plants, left
their home countries this week to begin two year contracts in
“It was a tearful but joyous farewell for the 40
Salvadorians and 17 Hondurans as they said goodbye to their
families and embarked on their journey to Canada,” said
Norberto Girón, IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador and
“It was the smooth cooperation amongst different
government institutions, IOM and Maple Leaf that made this entire
process transparent and successful; and that is benefitting
hundreds of families,” added Girón.
IOM missions in both Central American countries, following a
request from Maple Leaf, initiated the recruitment drive by
advertising for the jobs and accepting applications from 7,890
people. They carried out initial interviews, skills tests and
medical exams, confirmed all documents and certificates, and made a
first selection of candidates to be presented to Maple Leaf
Maple Leaf representatives travelled to the region to make the
final selection of 245 people to fill vacancies in their plants in
the cities of Brandon, Manitoba and Lethbridge, Alberta.
The National Statistics Institute of Honduras reports that some
863,000 young people aged between 12 and 30 in the country are
either unemployed or under-employed. In El Salvador, the
Ministry of Economy reports an unemployment rate of 7.1%.
“I am leaving my family behind, but I will see them again
soon. We are travelling legally and knowing that there is a
job waiting for us is a huge benefit for us,” says Ana Iris
Durán, one of the selected candidates from El Salvador.
Maple Leaf Foods offers the migrant workers the option of
extending their two year contracts and nominates those who complete
their initial contracts for provincial permanent resident visas,
that allow them to bring their spouses and children to Canada.
Juan Ramón Rivera, Officer in Charge of the IOM Mission in
Honduras said: “The entire process has also been a very
positive experience for IOM staff. During the information
sessions, in which the spouses and children participated, we
witnessed the happiness that this labour migration opportunity has
brought to these families. They are looking forward to making
this a life changing experience.”
Gerardo Mendoza, from Honduras, told IOM that this is
opportunity is “a true blessing” that will change his
life. “I was unemployed for many months and now I have
been given this great opportunity,” he said.
IOM also coordinated 120 hours of English language training and
orientation sessions for the 245 workers.
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