Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

¿Chile se vuelve imán?

Posted: May 30, 2014 by jennroig in Miscellaneous
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Hace un par de días, estuve buscando datos sobre la inmigración cubana en EE.UU, y tratando de entenderlos en su contexto. Me llevé al hacerlo más de una sorpresa.

Hoy los números me vuelven a demostrar que la evidencia es lo que más fuertemente confirma una percepción, o la desmiente absolutamente. Para este post estuve mirando las cifras de residencias permanentes dadas en Chile a extranjeros, entre los años 2010 a 2012.

Los chilenos son organizados. Como tal, no me sorprende que sus bases de datos migratorios sean sencillos de encontrar y muy fáciles de entender. En la página del Departamento de Extranjería y Migración chileno está toda la información que un extranjero puede necesitar, y las estadísticas.

Inmigración de países latinoamericanos a Chile (2010-2012)

Inmigración de países latinoamericanos a Chile (2010-2012)

Mientras viví en Santiago, mis colegas y amigos chilenos me repetían que son parte de una sociedad cerrada, todavía no adaptada a la presencia o convivencia con extranjeros, sobre todo si provienen de culturas muy distintas.

Las estadísticas sugieren que la realidad les está imponiendo un cambio, porque lo cierto es que sólo en esos tres años un total de 63.194 permisos de residencia permanentes fueron concedidos a personas nacidas en otros países del mundo.

El resto de la tabla registra únicamente a estados de América Latina. España está incluida como detalle interesante de referencia, y porque llama la atención ver que los españoles están tomando rumbo a donde sea que los llama el trabajo, incluso en la otra esquina del mundo.

Eso implica que no incluyo a Belice, ni a las Guyanas, ni al Caribe anglófono y francófono. Sí a Brasil. Implica también que no digo nada de los latinos que recibieron un permiso de residencia temporal, o de las personas del resto del mundo.

Esto significa que por cada 100 mil habitantes que se cuentan en Chile, unos 158 tienen residencia permanente pero nacieron fuera del país.

Si bien los 23.553 latinoamericanos que recibieron residencia permanente en 2012 representan la mayoría (86,23%), todavía muchas nacionalidades están representadas en los inmigrantes que se establecen en Chile. Por ejemplo, el documento registra en 2012 a 1 afgano, un armenio, uno de Arabia Saudita que recibieron el estatus en Chile, por solo mencionar países que comienzan con A.

Otra curiosidad es que las cifras en sí mismas pueden ser arbitrarias fuera de contexto. Mientras de Argentina llegaron 1642 personas en 2012 y de Cuba fueron 317, las tasas reales indican que el flujo de inmigrantes es bastante semejante por parte de los dos países: Argentina (3,85); Cuba (2,83). Luego, quizás dice más de la persistencia de los emigrantes el pensar que a Argentina y a Chile los separa sólo una cordillera, en tanto los cubanos tienen mucho mar, tierra y montañas de por medio.

De Perú llega el número de lejos más grande de inmigrantes latinos. En segundo lugar está Bolivia. Estos son números oficiales. Deja mucho para reflexionar los inmigrantes indocumentados. Ambos países comparten fronteras terrestres con Chile, y entre los tres aún están querellando el legado de la Guerra del Pacífico, la cual aconteció hace más de 130 años.

¿Tendencia al futuro?

¿Tendencia al futuro?

Sea cual sea el carácter pretendido de los chilenos y su mirada como sociedad a la presencia de forasteros, la tendencia demuestra que a menos que cambios drásticos ocurran, la llegada de extranjeros continuará, cada vez más abundante.


I am really loving this Data Journalism Course. Here I am bringing more data into context. For this post I gathered a some numbers from the 2012 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, published by the Department of Homeland Security in July 2013.

Note: Not that I could scrape any data, because it’s difficult from a PDF. If someone knows a faster way, I’ll appreciate the clue.

My newest chart puts into perspective some figures referred to the arrival of Cubans to the USA, and their later adjust of status to legal permanent  residents (LPR), between 2003 and 2012. I landed in Philly on October 2012. So I am one fraction of those numbers. (If you actually clic on the link to the chart, the numbers will be there and you’ll get more detailed info).

chart immigration

I find some patterns that contradict my initial thoughts.

LPR Status: Legal Permanent Resident Status stand out with the highest numbers because they are the sum of: 1. Cubans that won the migration lottery, 2. Cubans that come as direct relatives of US Citizens, 3. the refugees and asylum seekers that arrived at least a year ago, 4. those who came as non-immigrant who decided to stay and wait a year and a day to request adjustment of status.

In a perfect world, the numbers will show that specific pattern, but real life is messier. Bureaucracy and human behavior challenge maths. On the one hand, applications can take different times to process, variations depend on the office that processes each case, the time of the year, the number of actual applicants, etc. On the other, humans are full of surprises. I know a Cuban who took 2 months passed his deadline of one year plus one day residing in the country, before sending his application.

Naturalization: Cubans don’t hurry to naturalize as US Citizens, at least they delay it more than I expected. I knew older generations of Cubans are still linked to their Cuban roots, and try to avoid naturalizing as a resource to preserve somehow that Cuban identity. But younger generations -which I would think are the bulk of immigrants for recent years- are more practical, less romantic, and in general makes way more sense to become a citizen of the USA as soon as possible. But if you follow the yellow line, and compare it to the blue line four years before, it will show that the number of Cubans who got their LPR status is much higher. The fact that I’m indicating to count back four years will strike many of you. Well, there’s something called the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) that adjust my status as LPR in this country to the date I actually arrived, not the date I applied for documentation or was actually granted the LPR card. But that’s a story for another day.

It is interesting that the number of those obtaining LPR status is declining since 2008, while the number of naturalized Cubans has been steadily increasing, with that spike in 2008. I wonder whether there was any influence from the presidential elections that year. Could that yes-we-can spirit influence over Cubans who felt compelled to become Americans?

Refugees arrivals & Apprehensions: In a report from 2009, immigration specialist Ruth Ellen Wasem points out that most apprehensions happen in the open sea. Few Cubans are caught crossing the borders, Mexican or Canadian. That remains true today. I would really like to know something I could not find in the numbers, how many of those refugees actually succeeded in crossing the Florida Strait?

What are the odds for a Cuban who intends to “sail” his/her way to the USA to actually make it?

Refugees vs I94: It is even more revealing to find out that more Cubans are arriving with non-immigrant status than those who come as refugees. I am one of those I94, as I was granted a visa to come for a Seminar at the Wharton School of Business. But the majority of those Cubans are relatives to LPRs or Cuban Americans that come invited by their families. Some of them stay, many of them go back.

To finish the post, I also compiled data about different bases Cubans use to support their claims to become LPRs.  From a total of 32.820 Cubans that were granted LRP in 2012 – which you can see in the previous chart- that number breaks down into 917 family sponsored (the family member doesn’t necessarily has to be naturalized as US citizen), 3.402 Cubans  who were immediate relatives of US Citizens, 28.346 refugees and asylees, 74 applied for “diversity” – which I have no clue what it is-, employment based is 13, so insignificant that the pie didn’t see it, and that weird item “other” that sums 14.

Cubans LPR 2012

47 Things Only Introverts Understand

Posted: April 1, 2014 by jennroig in Miscellaneous

I felt so identified with all these traits, that can´t help sharing it…

Thought Catalog


1. Not understanding the concept of boredom because you are so content with your own company.

2. “Get in and get out” is your mantra.

3. Immature hatred towards people who interrupt you when you’re speaking.

4. Feeling like your ears are being raped by loud talkers – which is most people speaking most of the time.

5. Weekends filled with social obligations feeling like work.

6. The awkwardness of having to make conversation with an old acquaintance who’s name escapes you.

7. Being exhausted by days with zero alone time.

8. Aggravation when big plans change.

9. Feelings of irrational contempt for your phone when it rings during your downtime.

10. Sussing people out before opening up.

11. Feeling guilty for requesting a premature home time from your partner at a social event.

12. Sending out telepathic death-rays to pushy sales assistants who try to involve themselves in your…

View original post 510 more words

…It’s something I can only calibrate a posteriori.

Sometimes I think I have made insurmountable mistakes that will make me bite the dust forever. Sometimes I feel lucky, even better, sometimes I feel like a visionary.

I believe everybody must feel something similar from time to time.

That means that I claim the weight of positive and negative decisions. I take responsibility for my mistakes, mo matter the cost, as much as I claim my fair share whenever some project I’ve been involved has turned out right.

Then, what I oppose, what I reject, it’s that notion that I hear from time to time that says “things happen for a reason”, or that “it was meant to be”, or that I am the way I am because at some unconscious level I’m the victim of I don’t know what crime committed when I was a girl or when I wasn’t even born. I reject to carry any weight that isn’t the burden my own actions.

There’s a bit of predestination in those sentences. And predestination basically implies that no matter what you do, how fast you run or how hard you work, ghost will always be there, or I will get to the same place no matter what. I do not take predestination. I believe there’s no destiny other than the destiny we all build, day by day.

Our present is the result of our past, but more importantly, is the seed of the future. Future is the most important tense, because it can be changed, and because it’s more real than anything else. Present is vanishing, the past no longer exists. Future is there, reachable, real, potential like a promise, haunting because it will take the toll of my mistakes.

There’s nothing that was meant to be. There’s only time to change directions.



Posted: February 26, 2014 by jennroig in Chronicles, English, Miscellaneous
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Where would I be without friends? My friends who have been there for me, every step of the way.

More importantly: Who would I be without all the support, input, company, lessons and criticism received from my friends?

Very relevant: What is to be a friend?


-Friends will let you know very clearly when and where you screwed up.

-Friends will tell you that it’s ok to be you, no matter how much it seems you don’t fit quite right in this world. They will tell you to hold on to yourself, your dreams, your values and your beliefs even if they don’t share it, and especially when the entire rest of the world is pushing hard for you to change.

-Friends will introduce you to other friends because they think it’s a win-win situation. This means they will try to shelter you, no matter how far you are, even if you are actually doing well.

-Friends will be willing to cross the ocean to see you, if they think you need to be pampered or slapped.

-Friends will listen to your idea, your story, your memory, even if they are not really sure what to understand, or what it means at all. They will tell you later, but they will listen because they feel it’s something you need to get out of your system.

-Friends will show up from nowhere, due to no reason, just to tell you how fond they are about the way you write, paint, take photographs, dance, design, code… or how cool you look playing basketball or football, even though you know that’s far from true.

-Friends will plan with you the greatest holiday trips, and then you will both end up doing something totally different, something improvised that turns out to feel a 1000 times better.

-Friends sometimes stop showing up in your life. This is no reason to be mad at your friends, if it’s because they are doing well and are busy being happy. That happiness will support them later, when not so lucky moments arrive. But sometimes friends withdraw because they feel sad, hopeless and helpless, they don’t want to share it with you so you won’t get sad and worry about them. Sometimes these friends don’t come out to meet you again, ever again. Some friends will be gone for good, leaving a void impossible to fill.

-Friend can call you in the middle of the night, for no reason, just because they felt goosebumps while listening to a totally unrelated news and suddenly got worried about you.

-Friends will show up for you when your country has been massively damaged by some natural disaster.

-Whenever you hear some news about a war, or a bomb, or a terrorist attack, that just happened in a friend’s country, you want to hear from your friend ASAP, no matter if your friend lives in the other extreme of that country.

-Most true friends agree that Facebook sucks, because it misleads you to think you are actually keeping up with your friends’ lives and events.

I think now that I should have written this post more than a week before, it would have been definitely a more popular post if published by February 14th… But my friends are my friends for some reason, by this time they are fully aware of my type A personality, totally at odds with tradition. So they won’t be surprised!

Fundacity: a startup pro startups

Posted: February 24, 2014 by jennroig in Miscellaneous


As startup, Fundacity stands out due to its goal of enabling investments on other startups around the globe. Its cofounders Miklos Grof and Diego Izquierdo explain how do they plan to help investors with their tools and platform, so “they can find the next big thing”.

This is a shortened English version of Fundacity’s profile published by AmericaEconomia’s MBA & Executive Education on February 19th, 2014. The complete original Spanish version can be found here.

In Latin America, mostly in Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and Ecuador, recent times have seen a growing development in entrepreneurship and the number of startups that have been founded. The partnership between governments, international institutions and private capital is resulting in several initiatives that encourage more entrepreneurs to start their own business, some of them with very innovative projects.

Entrepreneurs are thinking about solutions, products, platforms and services targeting a massive market…

View original post 831 more words

The Math of December

Posted: December 8, 2013 by jennroig in Chronicles, English, Miscellaneous, Women don't Cry
Tags: , , ,

68870I’ve never liked December, way too much fuzz for me. It brings what I loath and fear, it drives people to shopping sprees, it leads to crazy spikes in energy consumption because of all the lights and Christmas trees, it fuels by the way the nonsense rhetoric of “war on Christmas”, and I can’t avoid making math in my head, balancing where I’m standing against where I think I should be. It brings memories too. Tell me about something more paralyzing at times than memories. Memories and Hope.

Remember Pandora’s box? That box contained all the pains and evils of this world and Hope was at the bottom. Only Hope could be that powerful, strong enough to hang in there, to hold the weight of every other misery.  When I was a child, adults sold me a misleading interpretation of the myth. People told me that Hope was the cure, the antidote for the evils. That interpretation is wrong. Any respected scholar will tell that Greeks identify Hope with a negative feeling, a deceitful one when led humans to believe that things could be under their control.

2013 has been an ugly year for me. I have mourned the death of strangers and close friends. Aaron Swartz killed himself in his Brooklin flat. Ying took her life jumping from a building in Beijing. This year I am a estranged daughter. I’m also missing the answers from a lover who vanished into thin air dragged by his own ghosts. I’ve lost work opportunities. I’ve been crippled, unable to move on at so many levels and hiding from the loved ones because I don’t want them to see. Out there people  may have gotten married and traveled and started new jobs and contemplated the universe from space. But here everything has been tiny and time has run so slow. This December my maths should be horrible.

And then this year 2013, Nelson Mandela died on December 5th. He was 95 and sick, so no shock in his death. I would have liked to be Mandela’s friend. He was a man of missing meanings. Married three times, shady friends like Castro and Gaddafi, but the inspiration against Apartheid, the icon, the living evidence that sometimes impossible tasks are within humans’ hands.

For some reason, even though my December’s maths do suck, the fear I loath doesn’t bite me yet. This time I’m finding some secret pleasure in the fact that the year is actually ending. A new chapter could be open with the new year, a cycle could be closed. And I know Hope is there, waiting at the end, at the bottom, to make believe. And that’s what “it’s in the nature” means I guess, believing once more that things could turn just fine this time.