- Name: Elisabeth Reyes
- Position: Regional Manager for Central America
- Nationality: Dominican
- Residence: Panama City
- Position and brief description of your work
I’m Regional Manager for Central America, in charge of Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica. It’s a great job because I get to manage the operations of our aircraft in airports. I have to supervise and coordinate all the services necessary for staging flights.
It’s work that I enjoy and am quite passionate about.
- How did you get to Iberia?
I reached Iberia when I was 23 year old, to get practical work experience while I was at university. A friend who already worked here got me in. I did a three-month internship. The station chief liked the way I worked and he gave me the opportunity to work as a traffic agent.
After three years I was promoted to supervisor, and later to station chief. I thought that was as high as i could go, but in 2016 I was offered the job of Regional Manager for Central America, and here I am, happier every day with the great opportunity the company gave me. I never thought I could enjoy a job so much, but I’ve been very fortunate in finding something I really like to do.
- And where do you live now?
My current home is in Panama City, and I was very young when I arrived. My mother brought me here to study, and then I jointed Iberia, and I’ve never left.
- How did you adapt to life in Panama, in personal and professional terms?
I adapted super-well, mainly since I always look for the good in every person, every thing, and every country.
At work it was fine. Everybody looked after me since I was the youngest of the bunch, and I learned a lot from everybody else. I always wanted to learn everything, and I enjoyed helping others. I liked challenges and solving problems. That why I was always assigned to deal with incidents, especially lost luggage, because I loved to look for those suitcases misplaced around the world, and then see the happy faces of the customers when they were found. The fact is I’m a very adaptable person wherever I go.
- What cultural differences are there between Panama and the Dominican Republic?
In fact, there are not many. When the Panama Canal was built, people came from all over, and there’s a rich mixture of cultures. You can find the genuine Dominican substance right here, I enjoy the amazing charm of both countries.
- What impressed you the most about the locals?
That’s hard to say. Perhaps it would be the indigenous people, who preserve their customs despite the modernizing impact of the city. In their territories their uniqueness is still on show. They’re amazing!
- Do you know any other Dominicans in Iberia?
Yes, here in Panama City there’s another Dominican girl who works in passenger assistance, named Yessica. And in Madrid I know Ynés, who works in the innovation department.
- What’s your favourite part of the city?
The old quarter. I love it because it tells part of the history of the country and transports you to the past.
• An outing you’ve planned?…
I want to visit Bocas del Toro,
- Your ideal Sunday
Stay at home in my pyjamas with my family, eating all day long – ha ha!