Venezuelan Canadian Society of BC

Alexandra Giannopoulos – A kindergarten with venezuelan vibes

Written by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud /  Translated by Erika Sanabria M

Alexandra landed in Vancouver in 1997, after being way too cold in Moosonee, a town in Ontario that only has 1,725 inhabitants and is better known as “the Gateway to the Arctic”

She was in Canada’s mean north for about a year. She used to make donuts, and used gestures to get her message across since her english wasn’t any good.

I learned these tips from interviewing Alexandra Giannopoulos, a Venezuelan with a Greek last name, who’s more “criolla que un golfeado con queso guayanés.”

When they grew tired of the cold, she and her husband decided to head west “without google maps or anything”, and went on an adventure towards BC. “We had no idea how beautiful the city was” she laughs now.

Once she was here, this caraqueña raised in Cagua left the dough and glazing behind her and started exploring her real passion; working with children.

She started by taking care of kids at her house, a family type of kindergarten. “I discovered I really liked it, so I decided to study and learn more about children’s development and early education” she says. Alexandra studied at the Vancouver Community College.

17 years later, this former human resources specialist, is the proud owner and manager of Alegria Childcare in Port Coquitlam. She takes care of 38 kids, whose ages range between 11 months and 5 years old. Her programs are multi-aged and based on learning through games.

For Alexandra, this adventure has resulted in a great discovery. “You definitely have to come with open mind to take advantage of all the opportunities. We come to learn and adapt ourselves to a new culture and a new life. So many of us have get new degrees and study again, so we have to really persevere” she says.

Filled with good vibes, she reveals why such a dramatic career change makes her so happy: “being able to run a kindergarten with a touch of our own culture and values, and the fact that children and parents enjoy it so much, is very fulfilling”

If you want to know more about Alegria Childcare, you can visit their website www.alegriachildcare.com or call 604.4757727

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