Caren Lopez Reyes

Adjusting to a new climate: Caren’s journey in Canada

Caren’s two biggest challenges living in Canada? Winter and English. Fortunately, CCI-LEX has been able to help with one of them! Caren moved to Canada with her husband in 2018 in search of a better life and more opportunity. She started studying at CCI-LEX two years ago, and through her dedication and hard work she has successfully advanced from the Beginner class through nearly all the levels of the LEX program in that relatively short time (especially given all the disruptions with the pandemic).

Initially Caren found it challenging to integrate since she was unfamiliar with many Canadian cultures and traditions. However, at CCI-LEX she gained a lot more confidence and exposure, especially through all the field trips and events regularly organized by the school. Her favorite memories include a visit to the University of Alberta Botanic Garden; a trip to Elk Island National Park, where she saw bison and tried canoeing for the first time; and the end-of-term school parties, particularly the winter celebration which involves a potluck with homecooked dishes from all over the world. Caren has also enjoyed learning about and partaking in various school celebrations, such as Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day, which are not observed in her home country of Honduras.

When she first started at CCI-LEX, Caren was very happy and excited about learning another language. Initially she felt scared because it was difficult for her to communicate with other people or to understand spoken English, especially with so many different accents. But her experience has been “wonderful… exciting… because the people at CCI-LEX – the teachers, the staff – [are] all very kind”. One day Caren hopes to speak English fluently and to “understand people very, very well”. Having studied pedagogy back home, she wishes to eventually pursue a teaching profession here in Canada.