Immigrant Stories, Immigrant Lives

Carlos Cesar Jorden Almança

I ask you, please, your permission to introduce ourselves. My name is Carlos Cesar Jorden Almança. I am Brazilian, and I am also of Spanish heritage. I have a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy and Biochemistry and I have completed several postgraduate courses: Herbal Medicine, Teaching in Higher Education, Chemistry Teaching Methodology, Pharmaceutical Care Management and Clinical Psychoanalysis. I have a Master degree in Veterinary Science and I will complete a doctoral program in Biotechnology soon. I have work experience in Brazil in commercial pharmacy and public pharmacy, as well as experience in Laboratory Clinical Analysis and University teaching.

I am married and my wife, Vanete Figueiredo, has a bachelor in Nursing and a postgraduate degree in Acupuncture with over five years of experience. She is very skillful: she cooks very well; she sews, paints and embroiders very well. Everything she does is well done.

We have a son named Alexandre Figueiredo Almança who is 24 years old and has been a musician/guitarist since he was 16. We lived in Muniz Freire, a small town in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, with about 18,000 inhabitants, where he taught himself to play the guitar using the internet. He has achieved an outstanding level due to his dedication and willpower. However, Alexander has always had a dream: to study music in one of the best schools in the world — the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. To try to realize his dream, he spent about two years preparing himself independently, practicing and studying on average over 9 hours per day, to attend an audition and interview where teachers from Berklee College came to Brazil to choose talented students who had the potential to become high-level musicians. In January 2015 he participated in the audition and interview in Rio de Janeiro and was very happy to hear that he was approved.

However, all higher education courses in Colleges and Universities of the United States are to be paid for, and for most of us Brazilians, the cost is quite expensive. According to the College site (https://www.berklee.edu/), the fee to study is about $ 20,000.00 per semester. In addition, it is also necessary to pay health insurance, school supplies, food and housing.

This made us ask — Then we thought: What do we do?

I was a civil servant and I had been working for over 30 years as a pharmacist and biochemist at the Municipal Health Department of the City of Muniz Freire, ES. My wife worked in her own Acupuncture Office “Mente e Corpo” (Mind and Body). However, unfortunately, the wages that we earned were not enough to fund the studies of our son in the United States.

We’d been checking the possibility of coming to work in the US because here people get good wages. We know it’s very difficult to work in our respective areas of graduation, but my wife and I are willing to work in whatever area to support our son’s dream, and therefore any job would be more than welcome.

And so, here we are! We are working for cleaning services and we are grateful for this.

My son is a very dedicated person, honest and without vices. He is very talented. We are his parents. My wife and I would love to be able to help him realize his dream. We believe this will make him very happy.

His dream has become our dream.

The future is in God’s hands.

Carlos Cesar Jorden Almança.

..&C5