José Miguel Palma has achieved his dream. Growing up in Tumaco, Colombia, amid an armed conflict, he knew he wanted to learn a profession and support his family. Even after he fled to Ecuador as a teenager and spent years struggling to make ends meet, he held onto that goal. Today, with the support of HIAS’ team in Ecuador, José Miguel is a resident architect for a construction company in the city of Guayaquil. “My life has changed completely from when I arrived up to now,” he recently said in a video recorded by HIAS. “Everything is different.” José Miguel, now 27 years old, first arrived in Ecuador in 2010 along with his mother and sister. The family long knew they had to leave their hometown, where armed groups had committed atrocities and killed hundreds of people.