English Translation from Spanish January 2023 issue page 31
with supporting advertisement
New Year, New Life!
by, Carolina Rojas-Gee
It is a joy to be able to share with you in this new column that Bryan McDonough, Editor of this Magazine, opened for the first time in Spanish for all those who prefer or feel more connected reading in their native language or those who would like to venture to know more about Latin American culture.
I was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and I arrived in this wonderful country 7 and a half years ago with great hopes like many immigrants: learning, looking for opportunities, missing a wonderful life (but with a lot of traffic), and longing to be with my loved ones. In Bogotá, I had the opportunity to study Languages, International Business, and Economics and ended up with an MBA. I worked for various government and private companies, and one of those experiences was with the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce.
Because of that experience, I applied to volunteer at the Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce. Although the operation of a chamber of commerce from one country to another is substantially different, it has given me the opportunity to create, learn and bring many ideas to life both for myself and for the Chamber.
One of the biggest challenges has been learning the language. How difficult has this challenge been for you? When I got here, my English was very basic: I would answer “yes” to any question someone asked me, I would get annoyed when I made the person I was speaking with repeat the same idea more than twice, or I would smile when I did not fully understand what they were saying to me. For millions of people, learning a new language and speaking it takes years, a lot of embarrassment, and sometimes great frustration while becoming fluent in the language.
After these years, I now work as the Marketing and Communications Director for the Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce. Through this role, we help to promote and grow local businesses through different initiatives. We reopened the Multicultural Networking Group, which was a group that was created more than 10 years ago with the idea of helping people of other nationalities to connect with local companies, contributing to their sustainability, and opening the window to cultural diversity. What makes this group something special? The opportunity to see the good in other countries and their cultures, support our community at large and learn that doing business in Palm Bay or Melbourne is different than in Bogota or a town in Spain.
Now that we have the opportunity to communicate, share, and exalt the best of our roots, I invite you to connect with this editorial, which I hope will be entertaining, informative, enjoyable, and that it adequately represents what Latinos are. New Year, New Life!
Marketing & Communications Director
The Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce