Maria Galindo came to Canada 13 years ago as a refugee from Medellin Columbia, unable to speak English and with two boys to support on her own. Fast forward to June 21 and Maria will be carrying the flame in Hamilton-Stoney Creek at the anticipated start time of 11:45am. Galindo who is a single mother of two says that she is honoured to represent both Canada and Colombia, her country of origin.
“I came to Canada as a refugee thirteen years ago from Medellin, Colombia. As an immigrant, I faced many challenges including having to learn a new language, adapting to a new culture, and finding employment to help support my family. As a single parent, things were not always easy. For that reason, as a torchbearer I want to help motivate and encourage others who are struggling to never give up and to get involved in their community.” Her youngest son Daniel is an honour roll student who will be entering his final year of high school at Bishop Ryan and her other son Cam is currently studying at McMaster University with a passion for municipal politics.
The Pan Am Games Torch Relay is a 41-day journey that will share the Pan Am spirit in more than 130 communities. Galindo was chosen to be a torchbearer through a public selection process that concluded earlier this year. The flame arrives in Hamilton and Stoney Creek on June 21st.