From PeaceTech Lab Weekly Roundup:
With the issue of migration evolving into a hot-button topic in American politics, the fate of thousands of immigrants in the United States hangs in the balance, leading to larger numbers returning to Mexico than in years prior. When migrants return to Mexico -- either by force or voluntarily -- after living in the U.S. for an extended time, they face narrow options. They often struggle to find a job, or enroll in school, especially if they aren’t fluent Spanish speakers. Social stigma can also isolate migrants, made worse by the fact that they’re suddenly integrating into a society they have little or no experience with. These are the sort of complicated problems that brought Marcela Torres and Nicolas Demeilliers together to build Hola Code.
The first of its kind, Hola Code is a tech boot camp that offers courses tailored to fit the needs of deportees and returnees. Based in Mexico City, the organization prepares its students for placement in high-paying tech jobs by providing an immersive 20-week course that starts with the basics of coding like HTML and CSS and ends with interview prep and application help. For those struggling to make Mexico their home and assimilate into society, the program also provides a sense of camaraderie and community by bringing together students who, although from different places, share similar experiences.
On the flip-side, in part due to the population spike in major cities following the mass return of migrants, the Mexico tech sector is beginning to boom. With more people moving into urban areas, the demand for innovative technologies focused on improving the quality of life is growing. But there simply aren’t enough people equipped with the right skills to fuel Mexico’s accelerating tech sector. This makes Hola Code’s ability to fully train engineers while equipping them with portfolios and interview training from the time they graduate to achievement of a salaried position a one-two punch.
“The need for skilled professionals like software engineers is only increasing and it is allowing a space for people without access to university degrees to gain formal employment and fulfilling high-demand positions,” said Torres. “This a great space to facilitate a bridge for the untapped talent to access those opportunities.”