Celebrating Achievements of Hispanic and Latin-American Peoples in Canada
This Wednesday marked the start of Hispanic (or Latin-American) Heritage Month – a celebration of Hispanic and Latin-American culture. Canada is currently home to over 500,000 Latin-Americans, with that number expected to grow over the next decade. Immigrants can be a source of development for the local community, as they grow to become leaders and innovators in their professional fields.
In light of Hispanic (or Latin-American) Heritage Month, we wanted to put a spotlight on a few of such individuals that have made notable contributions in fields of public service, research, science and technology as members of Canadian society.
Justice of the Peace Felix Mora – (Chile / Canada)
His worship, Felix Mora is the only Chilean Justice of the Peace in Canada. JP Mora served as a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board for more than a decade and has been a member of the Resettlement Deployment Program Roster for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He has been president of the Canadian Hispanic Congress, and has spent tremendous years of his public service lending a supportive voice to the Hispanic community in Canada. JP Mora currently serves as a member of the Ontario civil courts.
Senator Rosa Gálvez (Perú / Canada)
Rosa Gálvez has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from McGill University and served as a professor at Université Laval à Québec from 1994 to 2016. In 2017 she was appointed to the Senate of Canada. Senator Gálvez is the first and only Hispanic speaking person ever to be appointed to the Senate. She is one of Canada’s leading experts in pollution control and its effect on human health. Her expertise on water and soil decontamination, waste management and residues, and environmental impact and risk assessment have contributed to various national and international projects.
Dr. Manuel Montero-Odasso (Argentina / Canada)
Originally from Argentina, Dr. Montero-Odasso arrived in Canada as a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University. Since then, Dr. Montero-Odasso has pioneered clinical trials in geariatric research by using the novel “improving cognition to improve mobility” approach. He has also advanced knowledge in the field of aging by creating innovative diagnostic approaches for dementia. Today he is considered a world expert in dementia and falls in older adults. Currently, he is a professor of medicine and Director of the Gait & Brain Lab at Western University.
Beatriz Pizano (Colombia / Canada)
Beatriz is an accomplished director and playwright. She is also an actor with more than twenty years of experience on stage, film and television. In 2001 she founded Aluna, Canada’s most prominent Hispanic/Latino theater company as a response to the misrepresentation and under-representation of cultural diversity on theater stages. Since then, Aluna has received 26 Dora Awards’ nominations winning eleven. Beatriz is also the first Latin Canadian female to win the Toronto Critics’ award and a Dora as a performer. Currently, she serves as Artistic Director of Aluna, and leads several youth theater programs in Canada and Colombia.
Max Gomez (Colombia / Canada)
Max Gomez and his family came to Canada in 1996 to escape fear, injustices and violence. Max joined the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in 2007 and is now part of the elite group of organized crime investigators. Throughout his career as a member of the police service, Gomez has led campaigns to raise awareness and representation for hispanic community members. He is representing the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Currently, Gomez serves as President of the Canadian Association of Latino Peace Officers, an organization which he founded in 2015, that brings together Latin-American Canadian law enforcement members from Municipal, Provincial and Federal agencies.
As the presence of the Latin-American community in Canada grows, we wanted to bring attention to success stories from immigrants and inspire the new generation.
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