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Jorge - Personal Bio

Jorge came to America in March of 2002 at the age of 42 after winning a lottery for Cubans who wish to emigrate to the U.S. He was born and raised in Cuba. He attended a university in Cuba for a number of years and had worked as veterinarian and teacher for 14 years.

When he arrived in the U.S. in 2002, Jorge did not know English and enrolled in ESL courses first at a refugee training center and then at Portland Community College for six terms (2002-2004) progressing from level A to level D (beginning to advanced).

Since arriving in the U.S., Jorge has worked as a janitor in several places including a veterinarian clinic. In 2005 he attended a training course for phlebotomy and became a certified phlebotomist in 2006.

Like other immigrant-learners in our study, Jorge reported (in an interview from 2006) that the immigrant experience is all about "starting over". For Jorge, however, the political situation between the U.S. and Cuba makes this break with the past all the more salient - Jorge described it as the need the relinquish everything in the home country and to look for stability in the new one.