Hola Code, a Mexican coding bootcamp for returning immigrants

Hola Code coding bootcamp in Mexico City

Hola Code is an intensive educational program that adopts and empowers Mexican immigrants to boost technological advancements in local companies.

Photo: holacode.com

“Ni de aquí, ni de allá” is an old Mexican saying translated “neither from here nor from there” that still portrays the reality of migrants returned to Mexico; expelled from a country that classifies them as illegal and forced to adopt a culture that feels alien and that receives them with crossed arms.

In 2017 alone almost 167,000 immigrants were sent back to Mexico. Faced with the government's insufficient response to integrating them into the labor force amid the persistent threat of Trump to toughen immigration policies, a Mexico City-based start-up found a small window of opportunity thanks to entrepreneurship and education.

Hola Code is a social initiative whose objective is to adopt the Mexican talent of the returnees and integrate them into the technological jobs of the country. Through an intensive coding bootcamp, the educational program tries to empower immigrants and boost the technological development of Mexican companies.

Hola Code's is based on the successful Hack Reactor bootcamp ­­—developed in Silicon Valley. An intensive 5-month course that provides the basics of coding, develops soft skills and allows its students to generate apps from scratch.

In addition, this program offers its students three daily meals, recreational activities, psychological support, access to mentors and a monthly salary. However, what is the cost? None. Hola Code invests in returned talent and collects tuition once the graduate gets a job related to the bootcamp. Their intention is to get enough money to offer new opportunities and to open branches in more cities in Mexico and Latin America.

Given the imminent transformation of work and the need to acquire new skills in an automated future, Latin American countries need initiatives such as Hola Code. It is transcendental to be inclusive, bet on local talent and develop new skills.

Will massive repatriation of Mexicans be a threat? Or, on the contrary, ¿are we facing an excellent opportunity to enrich the Mexican workforce with qualified bilingual students?