An Epic Journey to Canada: Part IV

Hello readers! In my previous blog posts, I was probably super optimistic but this week I’ve experienced some things that have made me question and compare a lot of different ideas. I would like to start by making a comparison about two really different experiences I had prior to this internship, each one of them crucial to me being here today. These experiences are related to being an event attendee versus being an event organizer. With regards to being an attendee, I was a delegate of the program US-MEX Forum for Cooperation, Understanding, and Solidarity (FoCUS 2016), where I enjoyed two bilateral summits with high-quality speakers and mentors. In this program, I discovered that you can combine different passions and, by doing so, are able to create your own unique path in life. I met some incredible people and made friendships for life during the program. I also enjoyed everything they prepared for us while I found myself and part of my purpose in life. With regards to being an organizer, a friend invited me to host a campus Hult Prize competition. It was my turn to provide these experiences to the students from the Universidad de Guadalajara. I learned a tremendous amount from this new experience and now I understand all of the hard work and effort required behind the scenes to make everything happen. I felt a passion and responsibility for things that I could and could not anticipate. I now value, even more than ever, every single program I’ve been a part of. The entire experience made me grow in every single aspect of my life and I found myself surrounded with people that continue to encourage me to be a better person. EPIC DICHOTOMY I have had both experiences at the EPICentre as well. On the one hand, I’m often invited to a variety of events, workshops, and activities prepared for the Founder program members. I have been improving my entrepreneurial skills in a experiential learning environment while the passion of these young entrepreneurs working on their startups has been contagious. On the other hand, I’ve also been able to help with upcoming events and management of the incubator space. I can share my own experiences and best practices that I have learned in my short career and propose new perspectives on them since I’m actually part of their “niche market”. As I’m able to experience both perspectives, I have a unique outlook on the entrepreneurial culture at the EPICentre. CANADA-USA As I mentioned in my first blog post, I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and fate landed me this internship in Windsor-Essex. This region provides the best of both worlds as well! It’s a region full of export opportunities with the close proximity to the American border at their disposal and with the convenience of Canadian business opportunities and affordable pricing. The entrepreneurial environment is also fairly unique as there are institutions for entrepreneurs at any stage for all kinds of different projects, startups or businesses and, even though it’s not a big metropolitan city where opportunities are not centralized, Windsor gathers its own unique talent! Speaking of the USA and Canada, I recently experienced both border crossing lines (going into the USA and into Canada) and, trust me when I say, the experience is completely different! You can definitely feel how big the cultural gaps are between both countries even though they are just a few metres away from each other. A FRAGMENTED WORLD… There are some places in Mexico where you can go from very wealthy houses to very poor ones a few blocks away from each other and, unfortunately, in the U.S.A. and Canada it’s not much different. Have you ever had the feeling that wealthy people are getting wealthier and the vulnerable are becoming poorer? Social gaps have increased over time, affecting not only the country’s economy but also the quality of life and well-being of their citizens. Don’t miss the next edition, as I look forward to continuing this discussion about these socioeconomic gaps and why they matter!