Born in Ciudad de la Costa, Uruguay |
Although born in Uruguay, Toronto is where Nicolas grew up, and it is where he became who is today. Looking to leave Uruguay’s economic and political crisis, Nicolas’ parents came to Toronto. At first a brief stay before returning to Uruguay, they made the permanent move in 1987. Both of Nicolas’ older sisters were born in Toronto, making him the only Uruguay-born child in the family. While Canadian institutions have allowed Nicolas to actualize his potential, it is only in Toronto where he feels free of to express himself.
“The openness of the city allowed me to rebel against all sorts of norms—religious, sexual, political—without facing any serious repercussions.”
He is also happy that Uruguay is liberalizing, becoming more socially and politically open as the government recently guaranteed sexual equality, the legalization of marijuana, and abortion. Nicolas feels like he “won the global lottery to be able to call both Toronto and Uruguay home.” Currently Nicolas is pursuing his PhD in Political Science at the University of Toronto, with his dissertation focusing on the political economy of Argentina and Uruguay.
Toronto as Home
Like many graduate students Nicolas is always at a café, “the centre of [his] social life”. One of his favourite spots is Manic Coffee at Bathurst and College. Going to the café is what keeps Nicolas on schedule, and it allows him to plug into the public sphere; either through active participation or passive engagement.
“It is like my own mini-agora where I meet with other grads and friends to talk about everything from gossip, relationships, politics, philosophy, etc.”
He also happens to love coffee, which is an added benefit.
Connection with the Past
Taken at his baptism in the late 1980s, Nicolas holds a photograph of his immediate family as recent immigrants to Canada. He chose this photo because the day was very memorable for the family.
“Since that time the composition of the family has radically changed.”
The picture differs greatly from how he sees himself and his family today.
“This picture symbolizes the radical nature of immigration, and the inevitable changes that time and space bring to people’s lives, including my own. Ultimately, I think it is for the better.”