Meet member Viri Sanchez

August 1, 2019

Meet Canoo member Viri Sanchez. Viri came to Canada from Mexico in 2005 with the help of a friend from Calgary.

“I was so lucky to meet my friend Amanda while she was working in Playa del Carmen, Mexico,” explains Viri. “We both worked at a hotel and quickly became friends. Amanda and her family very kindly offered to host me at their home in Calgary, AB. I instantly fell in love with Calgary and the Canadian customs, the wide-open spaces, clean air, the kindness of people, [and] especially Amanda’s family. They helped me for the first two years when I arrived. It was Brenda, Amanda’s mother, who suggested I study cosmetology at a time when it seemed like I was out of options to stay and live in Canada. Thanks to this Canadian family, I found friendship, a new family and opportunities for the future. Afterwards, I started working at a hair salon, where my boss Margo, also an immigrant, was very supportive and we started the process for permanent residence.

“I feel even more so I belong in this beautiful country [after becoming a citizen]. Every time I tell someone I became a citizen, they always show me a warm smile and even hugs, congratulating me on this great achievement. I feel that now I can continue moving forward building a great life for myself and my family knowing that I am Canadian and we are welcomed. Here in Canada, I have found the best quality of life, friends, inclusion, a safe and peaceful place to build a family, and endless possibilities.”

Viri has already started using her Canoo app to explore venues in and around Calgary.  “[I visited] the Glenbow Museum,” says Viri, “It showed me so much more about Canadian history, culture and heritage. I have also used [Canoo] to visit Banff National Park. Being in the mountains is always a relaxing and enjoyable experience; during summer, my husband and I go for hikes and camping, during winter, we like to snowboard. Cultural places are proof of the welcoming heart of Canada and its constant evolution thanks to multiculturalism.”

“Because we had to work hard to get Canadian citizenship, we are also making a choice to be a Canadian,” explains Viri, “When we finally become [citizens], we appreciate it with a different perspective; we see new beginnings and new opportunities, [and] we are so grateful to be accepted, to become a part of it. We were not so lucky to have been born here, but we now feel the luckiest to have found it and to be welcomed.”

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