Nathalie Gervais, consular officer in Argentina and Paraguay
More than 10,000 Canadians live in Mennonite communities in Paraguay. For Nathalie Gervais, management consular officer in Buenos Aires, providing them with services can be a challenge, as they often live in remote areas where there have been kidnappings.
“I feel that I make a difference when I help resolve a complex situation. I like to solve problems, and I am not afraid to knock on doors to get a positive result for a Canadian.”
In Buenos Aires, Nathalie faces a different problem: the high number of distraction robberies. She is constantly searching for ways to raise awareness of the problem among Canadians visiting South America and to encourage them to be more careful. She works with representatives from other countries and the local government to find solutions.
“Travellers forget to pay attention to what is going on around them. We are constantly replacing stolen Canadian passports. Theft by deception, like the “mustard on your clothes” trick, where a stranger drops something on your clothes and then tries to help you wipe it off, is very common here.”
Nathalie recommends that Canadians visiting the region stay alert to avoid becoming targets for scam artists. They should also visit Travel.gc.ca to find out about the vaccinations they need and regions to avoid.
“There are many interesting and breathtaking places to visit in Argentina and Paraguay, but travellers should be well informed before leaving in order to be able to fully enjoy their stay.”
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