Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Voice from Colombia

We are happy to welcome Maria to CHICKS ROCK! Maria's story is a taste of what you will hear about the unique culture of Colombia and the experiences of its people at TWM's upcoming event, Close-Up on Colombia. We hope you'll join us so you can get to learn more about this country and culture. In the meantime, enjoy this as a short introduction to the Colombian experience:

Maria Angelica Martinez, born in Bogotá, Colombia, has been living in the United States for 9 years. She graduated from Baruch College and is currently working for an import-based small firm as Assistant to the CEO.

My name is Maria Angelica Martinez and I am 22 years old. I emigrated from my country, Colombia, in 1999 when I was 13 years old.

Being that so far I have lived almost half of my life in Colombia and half of it here, I guess I have been exposed to both worlds. I feel strongly influenced by the Colombian culture, but I’ve accepted my life in the U.S. Unfortunately, Colombia has very strong stereotypes for women, such as women being considered the weaker sex. Because I was raised by a very strong Colombian woman, my mother, I was taught very well to stand up for my beliefs and for my values, and that the stereotype is not real.

In corporate New York, the other Colombian stereotypes can turn out to be a challenge, but this is where the Colombian culture kicks in. We as Colombians are very step-forward people and very smart. We’re also very happy people, the kind of happy that’s contagious, so for the most part you’ll always see a Colombian in a good mood. As a Colombian woman, I consider myself a very strong and very down-to-earth woman; I can definitely fight the stereotypes and get my point across. I am very proud to be a woman, especially to be a Colombian woman. I think it is important to educate people about the country and for Colombians to spread the message to other people. This upcoming TWM event is the perfect opportunity to do so!

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