When Xavier started working at the restaurant in London, he didn’t even know how to fry an egg.
Xavier’s story begins in Ecuador, where he lived in a modest house with his parents. His father died when Xavier was 15, leaving behind a big void in the household, as well as a shortage of money.
“When my father died, I had to abandon my studies to look for work. I had to take my father’s place as the breadwinner.”
At 16, Xavier had a son and got married. Following the series of emotional events, his mother and brother emigrated to London. This was a huge blow for Xavier, who cherished the close bond he shared with his mother.
“My mother has been like a superhero figure to me. After Dad died, she’s the one who looked after me. If I was ever ill or had problems, she’s the person I could go to.”
Xavier had to fend for himself, with the added pressure of providing for his wife and son.
“I was working tirelessly day and night to make ends meet. I couldn’t provide for my family. That’s when I decided to emigrate to London.”
The separation from his family left behind in Ecuador took its toll. Xavier suffered an uphill battle with mental health, eventually finding his footing despite a divorce. Today, he credits his son for becoming his light at the end of the tunnel.
Xavier found work washing dishes at an Italian restaurant in London. Although his ambition was to become a chef, he tells us that cooking was an unknown profession to him.
“Back home, I didn’t even know how to fry an egg!”
But this didn’t stop him from learning the trade. With a sense of pride and contentment emanating from his voice, Xavier tells us that now he’s been working at the restaurant for 16 years now, quickly becoming the head chef and managing his own team.
Xavier lets out a huge sigh as he shifts in his seat, revealing that his climb to the top has not been easy. Fighting against the emotional turmoil of being separated from his family back home, he tells us that all of his experiences pre and post immigration to London have shaped his character, making him the strong man he is today.
“If you don’t have a strong character…if you can’t tell yourself that you can do it, then you’ll never get off the ground.”
Ria chooses local agents who are well known to the community they serve. This means they can often offer support to immigrants in their native language. Xavier is one of the millions of customers who found a community through their local Ria Money Transfer agency.
“Ria has an agency where they speak Spanish. As I wasn’t fluent in English, they made the transition process easier for me. Ria has been a great help for me. I can say that from the bottom of my heart. They’ve helped me out of some hardships.”
Ria Money Transfer is committed to bridging the distance that separates people from those they care about, wherever they may be in the world. Thank you, Xavier, for sharing your inspiring story with us.