From the Art of the Image to the Art of Changing Life

Gregorio Enrique Torres Hernández’s business is called Creative Workshop and is focused on visual arts, ranging from professional photography for social events, fashion, artistic activities, to personalized photos or contemporary abstract artwork that he paints.

For Enrique, the decision to migrate grew from the need to improve his an his family’s quality of life. “I wanted to give my son better opportunities in life, a future with more options, that he could see in his life possibilities to broaden his interests.”

For months he weighed options, limiting them to the small budget they had. Through his older sister, they were able to leave to Bogotá, but after a month of living there, they found it necessary to look for an alternative destination: Peru.

At that time they were not aware of how being far away from Venezuela was going to affect them emotionally. “I think that one of the most difficult things is arriving in a new country to live and not knowing anyone,” he says, “we were our only support. It took us a few months to overcome that strong feeling of loneliness, although when we did, it somehow opened our minds.”

As he describes it, the fact that for many months they endured feelings of depression and loneliness, didn’t stop them from fighting to start from scratch, no matter what it took.

A family friend gave Enrique a link to apply and receive training and support to create a business. He immediately knew that his business should be a reflection of what he was passionate about: creating art. In fact, his innate ability and creativity for painting, to which he had integrated photography at the age of 25, gave him security when it came to knowing the product he was going to work with.

Enrique’s life changed when he found out that he had been selected for the Business Plan workshop. He had the product and would learn the necessary business skills.  He is grateful to IOM, for supporting people who migrate in urgent circumstances, and for supporting people in difficult situations to pursue entrepreneurship.

He appreciates that another great gift came later: the possibility of participating in mentorship with people who had migrated like him and his family, who lived in the same city.:

“Those sessions made me reflect, analyze and discover new things about myself. I personally felt that they helped me become a better person. I am not only referring to professionally, but also on a human and personal level. The mentoring made me more empathetic, which resulted in an improvement in my business. I began to understand my clients more and better. They awakened new ideas that I took to the arts workshop. In seeing how my change had a positive impact on my business, I decided to open an extension that will soon see the light: art workshops for children and adults.”