Peace Community: Florencia Laurenzano

Hi, I'm Florencia Laurenzano although my actual full name is Maria Florencia Laurenzano. I've been going by Florencia for all of my life except in two instances, 1) When I moved back to Uruguay, South America from Canada and 2) At my current job where it's easier for people to pronounce Maria instead of the "mind-boggling" Florencia. Currently 18, I recently graduated from art school with a diploma in Computer Graphic Design as well as a certificate in Social Media for Business. 

Since I can remember, I've always had a passion for the arts, especially drawing and as I've grown older, that passion has expanded into many other forms. I love photography, illustration, digital art, sculpture, cinematography, graphic design, interior design, architecture, music etc, etc, etc. Anything that has to do with art, I'm all over that. I think this passion started when I was still inside my mother's belly. They bought a music box for me and would play it every night beside her belly and I would start kicking excitedly. It's a very small thing but I'm sure it's what started it all. Since then my life has been a roller-coaster of ups and downs, great moments and bad moments and through all of them, I never lost the love I have for those things I mentioned above. 

My job at the moment isn't necessarily what I want to be doing. I work as a customer service trainee & part time graphic designer at an HVAC company. Most, if not all of my time is spent learning about insulated ducting, ventilation grilles and different kinds of tape. I'm lucky that I got this job and that I have a great boss, especially since it's my first but I can't stop thinking about working at a magazine company, advertising studio or working for a clothing brand and helping create logos, advertising or making the designs used on their products. When I think about all of this, though, I think of it being in Canada. I lived in Ontario for 5-6 years during 2001 - 2007 and the need to return has never left me. Now that I have a younger brother, I want to go back even more so that I can show him all the sights I used to see and do all the things I used to do. I know he'll love it there and I know that he'll be happy as well as our parents and I. 

"Anything that has to do with art, I'm all over that."

Canada gave me many things that I'll never be able to shake off. Most of them good, some of them bad, but I appreciate all of them anyway. I learned how to speak English, (which is my first language) how to ice-skate, how to play basketball, how to be strong, how to appreciate the little things, how to swim. It's given me things that are still a very big part of me like my love for adventure, my style, my love for continuous knowledge, love of animals and some of the greatest memories and feelings, but also the saddest. I remember arriving in Canada, my father had gone before my mother and I so he could find us a house and try to get residency. He picked us up from the airport and took us to this one really beautiful house on Rainforest Drive in Brampton. We didn't get to live in the house but it's cozy basement which I loved nonetheless. It was our first little place in Canada. The starting point of that journey. It was snowing and it was beautiful. We then left 5-6 years later from the airport in Montreal and I still see myself sitting on my bratz doll suitcase, holding a teddy bear and trying not to cry. I did anyway. Still do. I would give anything to return to Canada with my family again even if it means living in a basement again, or maybe something smaller because our/my Home is Canada and it's always been that way. 

#MyCanada to me means possibilities, memories, growth, adventure, happiness and most importantly my home away from home. It's a country I believe I fit into more than Uruguay and New Zealand. #MyCanada is my idea of a perfect place to live, where there's four seasons, a white Christmas and lights around trees that make the snow shine when you're walking down the streets of Toronto or any neighbourhood. It's a country that offers everything and I won't stop searching for a job or a way to go back until I'm standing on Canadian soil once again.