Matilde is one of the 10 remaining Sisters working in the parish of the Monastery San José and well known among migrants and elderly people for matching successful migrants for domestic work at homes of care receivers. All migrants and elderly people get in contact with her through mouth to mouth networking. She uses a book to set up a list of migrants looking for domestic work, asking not much more as a name, age and if she has any relevant working experience. Thanks to her experience, she can evaluate migrants’ skills for domestic work only through a short interview.
According to her, most migrants who contact with her are women, aged among 25 and 35, very often they are married and have children in their home countries. In the beginning they leave all their family behind and only after some years, when their situation is more stable and they have residency permit and work permit, they will try to get their children, husband and other family members to the host country. In only very few exceptions migrants will migrant back home, but when they have a more stable situation, they tend to spend holidays back home.
The main countries of origin are Nicaragua, Honduras, Peru and other Latin American Countries, but recently there are also a lot of migrant women from Mongolia coming to San Sebastián.
Concerning discrimination, Matilde experienced a huge difference between Latin American Women and Women of colour from African Countries. While migrant women from Latin America are easily accepted as Domestic Care Workers, there is an obvious discrimination for race/colour for African Women.
When it comes to domestic work, there can be also discrimination of age, because families usually don’t want to employ younger women. It is extremely difficult for migrant men to find domestic work.
As there is no representation of Labour Force in Domestic work, migrant care workers in domestic settings can suffer discrimination through exploitation, especially when they don’t have papers. However, Matilde told a lot of beautiful stories in which families supported the migrant domestic workers in order to provide residency permit and almost adopting the migrant care worker as a family member.