“Par chez nous” is a series exploring the diversity of Montréal’s neighbourhoods through the stories of the Latin American people who live there. In this one, we meet Andrea and Jesús.
The Island of Montréal is a diverse confluence of modern and traditional influences, and it is also the point of entry and adopted home of thousands of immigrants from around the globe, including Latin America.
Despite recent efforts to help people get to know Latin American communities in Québec better, much work remains to be done. “Par chez-nous” is a documentary film project designed to do just that, by confronting stereotypes and portraying diversity not as an obstacle but as an asset. It was launched in 2021, as part of Montréal’s Latin American Heritage Month, by Nuestro Flow Lab, a collective dedicated to promoting equality, inclusion, and diversity. The series examines the diversity of the neighbourhoods and the stories of their Latin American inhabitants, highlighting the importance of social diversity, mutual knowledge, and collaboration. Nuestro Flow Lab worked with two partners on the project: Fondation LatinArte, a multidisciplinary non-profit cultural organization that promotes the rich artistic heritage of Montréal creators of Latin American descent; and Maison des Amériques, a meeting place for Latin Americans in Québec and other communities interested in working with them.
“Par chez-nous” features articles, interviews, photographs, and videos that tell stories of resettling in Montréal and integrating into Québec society. While every person has their own distinct background and reason for immigrating, there is a common thread in their stories: a love of their new country and a desire to nurture a dual sense of belonging to their native countries and new home.
Andrea Salcedo and Jesús Calderas: Two Montréal teachers
Andrea Salcedo and Jesús Calderas emigrated from Venezuela to Montréal as a young couple in 2008. Although they did not know anyone in Montréal, they chose to make it their new home after attending an event designed to attract immigrants to the province of Québec. It marked the beginning of an immigration journey in search of new opportunities. The couple hoped that by building new lives for themselves in North America they would be able to help their siblings and other family members.
Halfway through the two-and-a-half-year immigration process, prolonged by changes to immigration law, Andrea came to Montréal for a ten-day visit and immediately fell in love with the city. She arrived in the spring, alone at first, to settle for good. Despite the challenges of adjusting to the climate and finding a place to live, she became accustomed to her new home. Throughout their adventure, Andrea, and Jesús, who joined her later, were welcomed with open arms by the Latin American community and Montréal as a whole.
More than a decade later, Andrea and Jesús consider themselves Quebecers of Venezuelan origin. They now live with their children, born in Montréal, and Jesús’s parents, who immigrated in 2019. They are proud to have overcome many obstacles to successfully integrate into Québec society and make Montréal their new home.
In partnership with Fondation LatinArte and Maison des Amériques.
ARMONY, Victor. « Les Québécoises et Québécois d’origine latino-américaine : Une population bienvenue mais reléguée? », Mémoire présenté au nom de la coalition pour l’intégration latino-québécoise, Forum sur la valorisation de la diversité et la lutte contre la discrimination, ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion du Québec, 2017.
DE MER, Emmanuelle. « Immigration : le Québec attire les Latino-Américains et les Africains », Radio-Canada, 8 mai 2013.
VEGA VEGA, Reina Victoria. « Les Latino-Américains à Montréal », Mémoires des Montréalais, 2 juin 2017.
« ¿Quiénes somos los latinos de Montreal? Part 1 », Mes de la Herencia Latinoamericana 2021 (Mois de l’héritage latino-américain 2021) – Tercera Edición Serie Testimonios 01, Mes Latino Montreal, YouTube, 2021. (Consulté le 1er octobre 2021).