Founded in 2017 by Marcela Torres, Hola<Code/> seeks to unlock opportunities for forced migrants in Latin America by preparing them for successful careers in the region’s rapidly growing technology sector. Hola<Code/> students and alumni include returnees and deportees (young people born in Latin America and raised in the U.S.) and refugees (young people fleeing violence, poverty, and instability in Central America and Venezuela). Hola<Code/> provides an intensive five-month program to integrate them through education in technology, financial inclusion, and access to high-demand employment. Hola<Code/> also runs a software development business and a tech training program for companies in Latin America, staffed by graduates from the program, and is in the process of designing an app so that millions of forced migrants in Latin America can access the information and services they urgently need.
Hola<Code/> trained developers are bilingual, bi-cultural and highly adaptable professionals, a testament to the company’s training program as well as the quality of applicants. Since its founding, demand for Hola<Code/> training has steadily increased, while employment rates for graduates remain above 90%. With a tested and replicable curriculum, Hola<Code/> is primed for expansion within Mexico and Central America.
Potential refugee impact
Hola<Code/> addresses the needs of refugees, deportees, and returnees in addition to the labor demands of Latin America’s burgeoning tech sector. Forced migrants have social remittances (they’re bilingual and bicultural) and transferable skills (including sales and customer service experience). Resilient and hardworking, they are eager to build a life and career in their new country; after all, migrants are infamously high-performing and entrepreneurial. Nevertheless, they face myriad obstacles to accessing the job market in Latin America: they are unable to validate their foreign educational credentials; they lack access to loans and social capital; and they face discrimination and criminalization. Hola<code/> ensures each student can achieve professional success and full integration in the country. Students earn up to 10x what they made before Holacode, radically transforming their lives and their families’ futures.
Hola<Code/> is a Mexico-based startup that integrates forced migrants through education in technology, access to high-demand careers in tech, and financial inclusion.