While his mother was pregnant with him, Julio Absolu made it to the United States from Haiti on a boat. Absolu was born in Orlando, Fla. where he lived until the age of seven and moved to Calgary at age nine. 

Years later Absolu met his father and sister for the very first time as they took the same route to the United States. 

Absolu’s family decided to move to Canada, and according to Absolu, it’s one of the best things that have ever happened to him. 

Julio Absolu moved with his family to Calgary in 2009 where he was raised and is now a Journalism & Digital Media student at Mount Royal University. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

“I don’t think of myself as a newcomer,” said Absolu. 

“The experiences that I’ve had – I’ve made friends, I’ve made enemies, I’ve fallen in love, I’ve been heartbroken, and it’s a combination of all these experiences, and I can’t see myself having them in like any other country other than Canada, and because of that I wouldn’t really consider myself a newcomer here anymore.” 

According to Absolu more of his relatives wanted to immigrate to Canada for a better life and to get a similar positive experience, but not all of them were able to. 

“My aunt on my mom’s side also wanted to come to Canada and she took a boat but wasn’t very successful. Unfortunately, the weather conditions were just incredibly bad, and her boat capsized and she unfortunately did not make it.”

We talked to Julio Absolu about their life and experiences and you can watch it here:

YouTube video

Each year, thousands of people from around the world move to Calgary to make a new life. Our partnership with CLIP explores what it means to be a newcomer in our city and how that experience is different for everyone.

You can see all the video profiles here.

Editor’s note: Julio Absolu is student in the journalism program at MRU

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Hajar Al Khouzaii is the Lead Editor of the Calgary Journal. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Calgary majoring in Political Science and minoring in Philosophy. Hajar is scheduled...