Testimonial: Guillermo Candiz

Foreign Government Awards (FGA) - Mexico (2015-2016)

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Geography, PhD)

Guillermo Candiz

Thanks to the Foreign Government Awards Program–Mexico, I had the opportunity to complete my fieldwork in Mexico as part of my doctoral studies in geography at Université Laval. During the fieldwork, I was able to interact with colleagues and professors at the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). This institution is a reference in the field of migrations, which was an asset to my academic training and professional experience, while also enabling me to expand my academic network.

My project aims to compare the migratory paths of Central American migrants to Mexico and Sub-Saharan migrants to Morocco. Over the past few years these two countries have undergone a similar transformation: they became transit and destination countries for irregular migrants from the Sub-Saharan region for Morocco and the Central American region for Mexico. Through this research I would like to understand the role of the societies in transit countries in the evolution of the migrants’ migratory journey. My data collection took place in two stages. The first stage took place between January and June 2015 in Rabat, Morocco. The second stage took place in Mexico between September 2015 and February 2016 in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Veracruz.

Using the scholarship from the Mexican government, I was able to complete this second stage, which was key to my research. The scholarship covered my daily expenses throughout my stay. The Mexican government was very effective and always ready to meet the needs of scholarship recipients.

As part of my research, I interviewed over 30 people in the above-mentioned cities and participated in various events with migrant assistance organizations. These organizations played a key role in my research because they enabled me to interact with Central American migrants.

Although my research spanned different cities, I stayed in Mexico City most of the time. Living in this city was an exciting experience from a human, academic, cultural, gastronomic and historical perspective. I always felt safe when travelling around and I regularly used public transportation because the city has a very effective and well-connected network.

I will always be grateful for this scholarship, without which I would not have had such good conditions to develop this aspect of my research. I strongly encourage Canadian students to discover Mexico via this excellent scholarship program.