Maria Amuchastegui is a Toronto-based freelance writer who provides a unique Canadian perspective on Latin America. She has written about Mexican migrant workers in Canada, the Canadian mining industry in Guatemala and Canadian tourism in Cuba. Her work has appeared in This Magazine, Canada’s History magazine (formerly known as The Beaver), the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and NOW Magazine. Her article for This Magazine on Canadian tourism in Cuba, was cited by both the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star as one of the best magazine reads of the week.
Maria has often been the first writer to broach a given subject, and her work has frequently served as the inspiration for similar stories in other media outlets. For example:
- In Februray 2008, Maria wrote a story for This Magazine about the preponderance of Canadian tourists in Cuba. In April 2008, the Globe and Mail published a story about Cuba that drew on research from Maria’s story.
- In March 2007, Maria wrote a story for This Magazine on Canadian mining in Guatemala that was the inspiration for an episode of the CBC show On the Map that aired in July 2007.
- In May 2006, Maria broke a story in This Magazine about a Mexican migrant farmworker in Canada, Hermelindo Gutiérrez, who was ordered deported after his kidneys failed. In September 2006, Maria’s story became the inspiration for a two-part feature in the Toronto Star that ran on Labour Day weekend.
Mr. Gutiérrez and his family were subsequently allowed to remain in Canada on compassionate grounds, partly because of the publicity set in motion by the article in This Magazine. Years later, his daughter Sayuri won a scholarship to Brock University for the children of migrant workers. The article was also reprinted in Essay Essentials, a English composition textbook for ESL students.
- In 2004, Maria was the first writer to cover the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell campaign in Toronto, filing stories about it for both NOW and This Magazine. In November 2008, the Toronto Police adopted a don’t ask, don’t tell policy about immigration status.
In addition to freelance writing, Maria is also an IT consultant and educator. She is active in the business analysis community and is a contributing writer to Version 3 of the BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge). She is an instructor in the business analysis certificate program at Sheridan College, teaching a course on enterprise analysis and solution validation.
Maria was born in the U.S. to Argentine parents and raised in Canada. She has served on the board of directors of Amnesty International (Canada) and she is a past president of the board of the Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples. She holds degrees from the University of Toronto and Duke University, and has done postgraduate work at UC Berkeley.