Compelling news from the refugee and migrant sector
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latin American superstar turns to the sky

4 May 20160 comments

From Guatemalan boy band superstar to pursuing his dream of being a traffic controller, Fher Estrada is the leader of the path less travelled.

Sitting in a small Melbourne classroom of a professional migrant program after arriving in Australia two months ago, no one would guess Fher’s eccentric and varied past.

He seems to have led a thousand lives already, but his new life in Melbourne may just be the beginning.

“I’m a dreamer, an entrepreneur,” said Fher.

“All of my life I dreamt of either being a singer or in aviation,” Fher said.

Though Fher started his adult life in a field totally unrelated to his two great passions, by becoming a lawyer.

Fher_EstradaHowever, after studying law for four years, Fher abandoned a life of regulation for his band ‘Angels’ as they blew up into international fandom.

The boy band was the late nineties Latin American equivalent of Backstreet Boys or NSYNC, topping the charts every month in Guatemala.

“I fell in love with music, I became 100% dedicated to it,” Fher said.

Fher led the glamorous life of fame; socialising with celebrities, V.I.P treatment, and performing internationally at sold out shows.

Just as Angels were at their peak and the group was about to move to Mexico, Fher’s life was dramatically altered after his father sadly passed away.

“I stayed in Guatemala and quit the band to support my family,” Fher said.

As difficult as the decision was to leave his dream of music behind, Fher knew it was more important to be there for his family.

Fher went into the food industry and worked as a professional business administrator, using his entrepreneurial spirit to successfully work his way up the ladder.

It wasn’t until three years later in 2004 that Fher was finally able to pursue his second lifelong dream of being involved in aviation when he studied to become a flight attendant.

After years of working as a flight attendant Fher also became an Aviation Instructor in 2011, which involved teaching Human Factor courses to pilots, flight attendants and flight dispatchers.

“I taught the intricacies of human error when communicating from the cockpit to other employees both on the ground and in the air,” Fher said.

“I find communication really interesting because it’s so important.”

His love of teaching also lead to becoming a lecturer on Organisational Behaviour, Human Resources Management and Entrepreneurship at the ESI School of Management in Guatemala City.

But Fher decided to give up his many roles earlier this year to move with his family to Australia.

Now, after moving here only two months ago, Fher is about to finish AMES Australia’s Skilled Professional Migrant Program (SPMP) and is ready to start yet another life.

“My teacher from SPMP put it in my mind to be an air traffic controller and helped me to find out how I could become one,” Fher said.

Fher moved to Melbourne with his wife and two children and wants a lifestyle that allows him to spend quality time with his kids.

“Being a flight attendant didn’t give me enough time with my children. I want to be a constant figure in their lives, not just on the weekends when I’m not working,” Fher said.

Similarly being a pilot would require the same time demands as a flight attendant, which is why Fher was so thrilled to have his teacher suggest a job as an air traffic controller.

“The role combines two of my passions and expertise in communication and aviation,” Fher said.

Though Fher hasn’t left music behind forever, saying that he’ll start working on a solo project after he has settled into his new home.

“I would like to return to music to prove to everyone that it doesn’t matter about your age. Try to demonstrate what you can do if you have the right attitude,” Fher said.

“Not wait for opportunity, look for opportunity.”


Ruby Brown
AMES Australia Staff Writer