Credit: IOM/ Hajer Naili
Carolina is from the northern town of Barranquilla, in Colombia. She was born and raised there before moving to Bogota to study and to seek for professional opportunities.
“Barranquilla is the fourth largest city in the country. It’s very sunny and people are very welcoming and super charming. We have a carnival so we are happy all the time,” Carolina says of her hometown. Although Carolina has been only robbed on the streets of Bogota, she witnessed a lot of crimes that “can’t make you feel safe when you are out of your house.”
Colombia is her home country, and yet she no longer feels safe there. She traveled to several places before settling in the United States.
Her first memory of being in the U.S. is the sense of safety she felt. “I could just walk in the streets alone, late at night and I would just stay calm. I thought that nothing could happen to me. I felt empowered."
Now, Carolina lives in Washington D.C. where she interns with the Organization of American States. “D.C. is really rich culturally speaking: you have old things with new scenes events. Here I can be myself. By just saying I am from Colombia, people get interested. It is where a lot of people from different backgrounds and different countries converge in one only spot. It’s enriching everybody’s lives and everybody’s experience.”