Tales of a Displaced Youth: Daniela

Migrating alone is one of the hardest experiences anyone can go through, a lesson Daniela was about to get when she left Venezuela in 2018. Her determination, though, was bound to give her a hand

Photo: El Periódico

Daniela Villasana left Venezuela on April 16, 2018. She had just finished her medical studies and she decided not to wait for her graduation ceremony, a decision shared by many of her peers. She felt like she had no future in her country, and there was no room for her dreams and goals. Also, many in her family and group of friends had left the country already.

More important than any of this, though, is how Daniela felt like a foreigner in a country she no longer recognized. She decided Argentina would be her best bet for a new start, knowing it had an open immigration policy and, eventually, she would be able to work as a medical doctor. The country also seemed very open-minded and progressive. Daniela has always been a dreamer and she dreamt of moving to a place where she not only belonged, but also where she could grow and forge a future.

However, she wasn’t prepared for the shocking reality of moving to another country all alone.

Daniela had had a very comfortable life back home, despite the issues in the country. In Argentina, she had to get a room at a cramped residence where she had to share everything. Determined, Daniela printed her resume and walked around different areas asking for a job in every possible place. As luck would have it, a pharmacy was looking for employees and offered her a position, which she immediately accepted.

Moving to Argentina on her own wasn’t a simple ordeal at all, but Daniela was determined to see it through.

Photo: Daniela Villasana

During this time, the long and tiresome process of validating her degree as a medical doctor began. This was her true passion, and being away from it was extremely frustrating. She had to carry on until eventually she started working with an ambulance service. Although this didn’t pay well, it brought her closer to her calling. Unfortunately, the owners of the ambulance service took advantage of her situation and, after a few months, stopped paying her. A debt they hold to this day.

After almost a year waiting for her diploma to be validated, Daniela decided to visit her family in Venezuela. She was tired, lonely, and feeling like her life was in disarray. She needed to reconnect with her roots and reconcile with her purpose once again, which is what brought her back home. After three weeks in Venezuela she was terribly tempted to stay. Despite this, she knew that if she wanted to grow both as a person and as a professional she needed to get back to Argentina. Soon after she got back to the country, Daniela received the best news: the long process of validating her diploma was finally over and she could practice medicine in Argentina.

She now works at three different hospitals, where she does 24-hour shifts, which are exhausting but rewarding. It’s not an easy life but Daniela feels comfortable doing what she loves, and she’s now able to rent her own studio apartment. She’s even able to help her brother, who’s also in the country.

She has a simple wish for her future: happiness. She sees herself doing what she loves, becoming the best version of herself, doing her residency studies and having a loving family. When will it happen? Daniela doesn’t know, but she is definitely on the right path.