Building bridges for Mexican professionals in Germany

Germany / Freedom for Equality / 30 jan 2018

Mexico has the second largest diaspora in the world after India, with 12 million Mexicans living abroad. Meanwhile, Germany hosts the fourth largest community of Mexicans living abroad after the USA, Canada, and Spain, including 14,000 Mexicans.

According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, 80% of the Mexicans in Germany are concentrated in 5 of the 16 federal states, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin, and Lower Saxony, the first four of them host some of the largest German cities in terms of population, while the latter is home to a major automotive cluster with strong ties to Mexico. In addition, 90% are between 18 and 65 years old, the majority with higher education qualifications and professional experience, representing a significant workforce. Nevertheless, conservative estimations show that only around 6,000 Mexicans are economically active. The remaining are either stay-at-home partners or are searching for job opportunities, struggling with similar challenges as other foreign communities in Germany, including language barriers, academic studies and qualifications recognition, and limited network, while some also face the negative Mexican propaganda driven by drugs, crime, and corruption.

Inspired by the Mexico-Germany Dual Year celebrated by the Mexican and German governments between 2016 and 2017, a team of six Mexicans in Germany led by Dr. Ana Luisa Piña and by Sergio G. Chavez created and published a book titled "Mexican Professionals in Germany" in June 2017. The book showcased the profiles of 167 Mexicans based across Germany working in a wide variety of fields and industries (among which 20 of them have built a long-term career in Germany), who have been awarded with prizes from German institutions in their fields, and are often featured in the German media. While the original objective of this book was to connect the Mexican professionals in Germany and learn who they are, where they are, and what they do, it has evolved into a much broader community and movement with international reach.

During the last 6 months, this initiative has attracted the attention of Mexican and German private and public institutions, in addition to other Mexican communities abroad, and it is now considered a go-to source for Mexican talent in Germany. Moreover, this initiative is helping to showcase the positive impact that Mexicans are having in German society, serving as a powerful tool to facilitate their social and economic integration in the country, as well as building stronger bridges with institutions in Mexico where the Mexican talent in Germany can contribute.

Dr. Piña and Mr. Chavez consider this as a replicable model to facilitate the integration of other foreign communities abroad and create economic opportunity for those actively involved in it, serving as a valuable mechanism to achieve freedom for equality. Through initiatives like this, positive contributions of the diaspora can be highlighted, countering negative perceptions spread in populist media and helping to bring together divided communities.

Read Mexican Professionals in Germany online at https://issuu.com/rtmalemania/docs/profesionistas_mexicanos_de