Each came to America for different reasons. Joao Diogo sought a safe place for his family after violence ended his father’s life in Brazil. Patricia Guerra, a new college graduate, came for career opportunities when the economy of her native Venezuela had none to offer.
Starting a new life in a new country is hard. But Diogo and Guerra each found careers—and life opportunities—at Amazon’s Air Hub in Lakeland, Florida.
“I had butterflies in my stomach and was very anxious about the move,” said Diogo. “I had to put my kids and my family first, even though I was nervous. Now, I know I was right to come to the U.S.”
In celebration of Independence Day, we’re sharing Diogo’s and Guerra’s stories of coming to America and finding a home at Amazon Air.
Joao Diogo finds a safe haven and an exciting career
Violence in his native Brazil drove Joao Diogo to move his family to the U.S. His father had been murdered at age 47.
“We had some problems in Brazil in terms of public violence, and it was getting worse,” Diogo said. “My dad was a victim of murder while working in his shop. After this, I decided to move to the U.S. with my wife and my three kids.”
Despite his 22 years of experience working at South America’s largest airline, Diogo struggled to find work in his new country.
“The beginning was so hard,” he said. “I applied for many aviation jobs—probably more than a hundred—and nobody called me for an interview. I did some jobs in construction before I applied for Amazon and got the job as an aviation security specialist.”
Less than three years after arriving in the U.S., Diogo is finding success in his new career at the Amazon Air hub in Lakeland, Florida. He earned a promotion to aviation security manager less than a year into his work at the company, and he continues to enjoy the new life he’s built for his family in the U.S.
“I’m so proud of my journey, because now my family is safe and my kids are very happy,” Diogo said. “I’ve believed in my dream since the very beginning. Believe in yourself, believe in your potential, and never give up.”
Patricia Guerra jumpstarts her career in the land of opportunity
When Patricia Guerra graduated from college five years ago, the economy in her native Venezuela was in shambles. Her education was in environmental engineering and computer science, yet her job search led to a dead end. She decided to expand her search outside of her home country, and she found opportunity in the U.S.—and at Amazon.
“I kept applying to jobs online and eventually found Amazon,” she said. “The company welcomed me with arms wide open.”
With a new opportunity, Guerra traveled 1,763 miles (roughly 2,837 kilometers) to kick start her career in Florida. The travel was the easy part—starting a new job in a new country was the true challenge.
“It was a bit scary at first,” said Guerra. “English was hard at the beginning because we are alone. But the longer I’ve lived here, the more of the language I’ve learned.”
Guerra utilizes her educational background in her job as waste coordinator at the Amazon Air hub in Lakeland, Florida. She has earned three promotions since joining Amazon and recently purchased a new home. She is thriving in a fulfilling career—and happy she moved to the U.S.
“I'm very thankful that it allowed me to get a higher position,” Guerra said.
We hope you enjoy the holiday with your loved ones, celebrating the diversity and freedoms of Americans from coast to coast. Happy Fourth!