Born in Bogota, Colombia, Jose has always been a resilient worker with a drive to get things done. Maintaining politically neutral, José has been a human rights advocate and full-time volunteer ever since discovering that a vast majority of his fellow countrymen are living in a wide gap between extreme poverty and lavish wealth. His education was eclectic, much like his many personal interests. His teachers quite often found it difficult to face Jose’s hard questions and new ways to look at problems. He has always strived to stay up to date, fully embracing current technologies and social media applications. Both his personal business and his work as a business consultant have provided him with an overarching perspective for problem solving.
In 2000, he and his family were forced out of their Colombian home by one of the armed groups that are ripping apart that wealthy and beautiful nation. He says that when he and his family came to Canada they were reborn in a completely new world full of opportunities and challenges, and he found his niche at the Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council (RIAC). Jose attended classes for two years at the Memorial University business school to hone his English skills, and has travelled throughout Canada attending workshops and consultations on immigration and human rights issues. Riac’s team has recently celebrated Jose’s 15th anniversary as head of the organization. As well, the Senate of Canada has granted Jose the 150th Canada’s Anniversary Medal for Volunteers.