- Name: Danna Berrio
- Position: Duty Manager, Santiago, Chile
- Nationality: Colombian
- Residence: Chile
Position and brief description of job?
As Duty Manager in Santiago I’m responsible for the station, together with Ramiro at Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires. I’ve followed the path of my mentor, Claudia Serrano, now the excellent Regional Manager in Bogotá.
How did you get to Iberia, and to your current country of residence?
At 18 years old I joined Iberia as a handling traffic agent in Bogotá. After four years, I was given the opportunity to work as Service Delivery Manager, in charge of handling services at the Medellín airport. After three years I had the chance to come to Santiago as Duty manager, and here I am!
Professionally and personally, did you have to adapt to life in Chile?
Changes are always positive, since they make you grown in human and professional terms. At work it was quite an adventure and a real challenge to lead a team from a different culture, but with hard work everything is possible.
Personally, one learns so much away from home! I’ve grown immensely. To show Love and respect for others every day of your life is certainly the biggest lesson.
What differences between the two cultures have you noticed?
That’s a complicated question. You know that the people of the Caribbean tend to smile and touch a lot. In Chiles, things are much better organised, and people are more serious. But with the recent massive immigration of people like us, they’re loosening up and becoming more supportive of each other..
What has impressed you the most about the locals?
The way they celebrate the national holiday on 18 September is unbelievable, They take the whole week off, and dance the chueca with so much love. Families get together and give each other presents, and eating and drinking doesn’t stop day or night for the whole month. That’s what surprised me the most.
Are you acquainted with other Colombians who work for Iberia?
My Chilean adventure began in the company of Claudia Serrano, a charming and highly professional Colombian who was on the management team here for three years. For now I’m the only Colombian with Iberia in Chile, but there are others elsewhere.
What is your favourite place in Santiago?
The Baha’i Temple of South America. When I visit I attain an indescribable sense of peace. It’s open to everyone of all beliefs and really makes us feel like we belong to the world, without borders, religions, or passports. We feel like we’re all sisters and brothers.
A trip you’re planning?
I’m off to the desert –San Pedro de Atacama– in 2022. I’ve been planning to visit that magical place for the past four years. I promise to send photos!
Your ideal Sunday?
I escape to Pichilemu, world surfing capital, as often as I possibly can, in all seasons. Riding the waves along the shore, sleeping in a domed hut at the lodge, having a coffee (Colombian, of course!) at a table near the sea, breathing pure air and feeling grateful for every day I’m alive. There’ no question that the best place is right there where God, the universe, people of good will, and you yourself decide to be.