The story of two Latin Americans who went after their dreams and became pilots for the LATAM
When Chilean-born Leonor Fuschlocher was just a kid, she dreamed of following in the footsteps of her father, who was a plane pilot. But, at the time, people still believed there were professions for boys and others for girls. This made Leonor’s path to achieve her goal much longer: first she went to engineering school, then she worked as a cabin crew member.
In the air, crossing the skies in Latin America, she kept feeding her dream of piloting aircraft. “Then a Santiago university opened a course for commercial pilot training and I saw it was possible to become a pilot,” recalls Leonor. Sixteen years ago, she became the First Officer of a B737 and now she’s the captain of an A320 at LATAM. 'The best part of what I do is to work in an office with the most beautiful view in the world,” she jokes.
The path of Peruvian native Catherine Guerra Trujillo to become a First Officer at LATAM was also long. Just like Leonor, she went to flight attendant school first, paid by her grandmother, to whom she is eternally grateful. From then on, becoming a pilot was one of her main goals in life.
The journey was exhausting: she moved to the United States with her newborn daughter, while her husband, Janek, stayed in Peru. Between breastfeeding little Laleczka and overcoming her homesickness, Catherine started her dream career, which is a great source of pride for her. “The best part of going through all this was meeting exceptional people and, at the same time, finding a better version of myself, as a woman, mother, and professional,” explains Catherine. 'The distance between having an old dream and living it in the present is covered by crossing a bridge called effort.'
And their plans don’t stop there. In a not-so-distant future, Leonor wants to pilot a long-haul flight, while Catherine wants to become a captain and instructor – and they are training hard for it. “Being a woman and a pilot is a possible dream; it’s a beautiful career,” concludes Leonor.