Carolina Caicedo was born In Costa Rica on April 30th, 1986 in a clinic called “Clinica Santa Rita” in downtown San José which is the capital of this small country in Central America. Coincidentally, she was born exactly the same day as her sister Marianne, who was born two years earlier in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The interesting thing is that they were both born via natural birth and there was absolutely no planning for this event to happen on April 30, two years apart. The reason they were born in two different countries is that their dad worked for a pharmaceutical company and he was transferred many times during his career.
During her first years in Costa Rica, her parents had domestic help which initially was not very stable as most of the helpers from Costa Rica were not very keen on working in this type of job. Her mother searched for a long time and finally she hired someone from the neighbor country Nicaragua.
This is how “Albita” came along. She came to the family when Carolina was two years old and in a very short time she actually became part of the family. Albita which is the nickname for her real name which is Alba helped a lot in the housekeeping, learned to cook from her mother and also took care of them in her free time. They also got accustomed to her and started to love her dearly as she was like a second mom for the girls.
Soon after Carolina started Pre-K in a small German school that her mom and friends had started as their entry into the German School had to wait at least for another two years. These were very happy years for Carolina as she was always surrounded with very good friends. She’d go to friends houses for visit but since she had a humongous garden in her house all her friends loved to visit her. After Pre-K, her parents decided to put her in the International School because they realized that after all, English would be a more practical language to learn than German. Her dad initially spoke in German because that is how he was brought up, but he realized that English would be better.
She lived for five years in Costa Rica before they moved to Brussels. In 1991, her dad was transferred to Belgium to do a different job with the same Company and then they packed their stuff and left her country to start a new adventure in Europe. Her mom was very happy because she always wanted to live close to Switzerland. Her granddad, was born there and always talked to all of them about this wonderful small country to which they all belong. Belgium is very close to Switzerland. When Carolina arrived in Belgium at the age of five, she started a new life, new school, new friends, new everything……the good thing is that Albita moved with them to Brussels. They were soooo happy because she could stay with them and continue to be part of the family. Her dad always had a saying to prepare them for the moves.
He always said: “No matter what, no matter where, it is always home when love is there”
and so he was happy that the entire family could be together in this new adventure.
Her sister Marianne and Carolina entered the International School of Brussels (ISB) which was full of foreign students from all over the world that spoke different languages and had different religious backgrounds and belonged to different ethnic groups. ISB had a very big playground with an elephant made out of huge concrete pipes where kids spent hours playing. She remembers very vividly that one day she climbed to this concrete elephant and wanted to get all the way to the top. Unfortunately, she landed on the ground and as she was coming down, her head hit one of the pipes and started bleeding. She remembers the horrible pain in her head and started crying immediately. Her teacher, who was close to the playground, came running and picked her up and covered her head with a medium sized blanket. She was bleeding all over as they rushed to the nurses office. In the meantime they called her parents to inform them about the accident and her mom arrived to the school. Her dad also came from work and she was taken to the hospital because her skull had a fissure, at the hospital they put stitches on her skull as the wound was pretty big. They then learned that many other children had also fallen from this elephant figure and that accidents occurred all the time. Her parents were very upset that the School had done nothing despite the risk and danger of this concrete structure in the playground. They were adapting to the new school improving our English but also learning some French and German as well as adapting to new friends and new environment. Brussels was fun moments. They had a lot of fun memories from Brussels where they spent the next three years. She remembers in particular their first Christmas in their new house. They were very excited and after dinner her parents suggested that they all go and try to find Santa Claus in the neighborhood. They all climbed into the car, her mom, her dad, her sister and her nanny. Nobody was left behind in their house. They were gone for about 15 minutes and when we they got back to the house, the Christmas tree was full with presents. Four new bikes were standing there!!!!!! She was totally amazed and soooooo happy. How could this happen since nobody had stayed in the house. How could all these gifts be there? She has been amazed until this day…… Life in Brussels was very nice despite the accident she had and being so far away from home.
After three years in Belgium, her dad was transferred back again to Costa Rica in 1994 to become the director of the company there. He was very happy to come back to Central America and her mom had mixed feelings because she also was having a ball in Belgium. Carolina was seven years old when she returned to San Jose and was thrilled to see her old friends again but was also sad to leave her good friends behind. As she arrived to Costa Rica she broke her leg playing in the garage of their new home. It was time to start a new School and both, Marianne and Carolina entered the same School called Country Day School (CDS). Back in Costa Rica they took advantage of the nice weather and started extracurricular activities like horseback riding, swimming and soccer. After the years in Belgium, the whole family was happy to be back with their old friends. She came back to the same school that she attended before leaving for Belgium. They came back under the idea that they would stay in Costa Rica for many years and they were thrilled with the idea because it was like a second home for them. They moved into a rented house and her parents decided to buy a property and build a new house. They were so happy because that meant that each of them could have their own room. So, they lived for the next 4 years in San Jose. She enjoyed school and above all her friends from the old times.
Life in Costa Rica was fun. They could go to the beach, the forest or mountain climbing to do picnics with their friends and they were always busy doing things. Two years later, the house was finished and they moved to the mountains in a very nice area which was very, very close from School. So, life was very nice. She had a room she liked very much because she had privacy.
One day in the summer of 1997, when they were vacationing in Aruba, their dad told them that again he was being transferred. They could not believe it and they started crying because they thought they would stay much longer in their second home. They had just moved into their own house and they were so happy there. Then, they were on the move again. It was very sad for Carolina moving from country to country, changing cultures every four years, starting a new life each time she would move and adapting always to a new culture. Well, this time they ended up going back to the real home of her parents which was Colombia because that is the country were her parents were born. In the summer of 1998 they went to Bogota where her new life started again. They had to search for many schools because it was not easy to get accepted and finally they entered the English School. She was kind of upset that she had to leave all her friends again and had to start making new friends. During the second year she changed school and went to another English School where it was better for her… She started making friends and adapted to the new life. Bogota was a nice city and they had lots of family there. However, it was also dangerous because all was going on in Colombia with kidnappings and crime. Her parents were very protective of them and they had a driver called Jorge that took them everywhere they needed to go. They would travel frequently to Cali, another city in Colombia where they would visit lots of family including her four grandparents who all lived in Cali. They also had cousins there and they had very good times.
After four years in Colombia, Marianne graduated from high School and went to study hotel management in Switzerland. So, Carolina was alone with her parents in Colombia. She went to visit her a couple of times and she liked Switzerland very much. One day Marianne suggested that Carolina should go to Switzerland to study and to live with her. Carolina went for a summer camp near Zurich to see how was life in Switzerland before moving there. She was under a lot of stress thinking again about another move in her life and this time without her parents. One day at the summer camp she was riding a bike in a very steep road and fell on her left elbow crashing her bones in several pieces. That was a terrible accident and she was all by herself. She was rushed to a hospital in Zurich and her sister had to come from Lausanne to keep her company. Her parents were very far away celebrating their 25th anniversary in the Canary Islands. They were notified and came to Switzerland immediately as the doctors were waiting to do surgery on her arm. She was very nervous thinking that she would not recover full mobility in her arm. Her mother stayed with her in Zurich for a full week and her dad had to go back to Bogota to work. This was her start in Switzerland. After the surgery and when she was feeling better, her mom and Carolina went back to Lausanne to do some house hunting because they needed to find a place to live. After weeks of searching, they found a very nice apartment where each of them could have their own room. So, here she was entering a new School in Switzerland called Lemania where she needed to learn French to study and make friends.
She was seventeen years old when she arrived to Switzerland and did not know a word of French but learned it in about eight months. She thought she would start the career of her life but did not. She then started business school thinking that that was her passion but then realized soon enough that business was not for her. The fact that they were living by themselves with her sister helped her to mature, be responsible and learn about life. She needed to be self-sufficient, a person that takes initiatives, open-minded and always striving for the best. Switzerland gave her the learning of her life. She stayed there for about four years Taurus is her sign and that may help providing the answers.
In her next phase she started thinking about Industrial Design, animation and cartooning; . Then in the year 2007 she entered the Art School to prepare a portfolio for universities in Switzerland and were she really discovered her big passion in Graphic Design. She was 20 at the time and she had already gone through all these different cultures and worlds. She was starting to feel fed up moving all the time and the fact that she had not finished school at the age of 21 as she originally intended.
In September of 2007 she came to visit her parents in NJ where they were now living. She went to New York in search of Art Schools. Somebody told her about the School of Visual Arts (SVA) and she was convinced to go there as this was the best place to be for Graphic Design. She left Switzerland when she was 21 and went to New York which had been kind of a dream for all her life. Well, she applied to SVA very late and because of her exceptional portfolio they accepted her. She said YES….. it was just meant to be that way.
She arrived to New York to a new life once again. Coming to New York from Switzerland was a total change experience. She discovered so many different things. The culture and all the atmosphere was just not the same. It was a good learning experience.
She stayed there for one year and a half and was very happy with SVA but not with the people. She liked her professors very much. They have taught her amazing and great things… she had been always feeling very lonely in her life just because maybe she had been traveling a lot along her childhood and has had to adapt herself several times. It has been very hard for her although she has had good and bad experiences moving from country to country. She has made many dear friends who will always in be in her heart and she hopes that despite the distance these relationships will continue. Just last week she had her friend from Costa Rica with whom she has been friends since birth, spending a weekend in her apartment. She is now living in Rhode Island.
Her arrival to New York was a complete wide open door to go in and pursue her dream! Become what she wanted to be in four years. She would like to work for a big company as Creative/Art Director and pursue her dream of becoming excellent at what she does and always strive for her best. Her future may require that she keeps on travelling but she has learned to adapt after all these years. She loves what she does and this is her greatest companion that she hopes will be with her forever.