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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

septembre 15, 2022

The celebration of Hispanic heritage in America started out as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 but then was expanded to Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988 and has been growing in influence ever since. This celebration is the perfect opportunity to learn more about how Hispanic cultures, traditions and history have shaped our nation and how Hispanic Americans have helped shape our communities. It is also a time to acknowledge the challenges many Hispanic Americans face in their daily lives and to promote cultural understanding, appreciation and civility among people of all backgrounds.

From September 15th – October 15th, Thrive is celebrating and recognizing the contributions of our Hispanic employees through a series of interviews highlighting their heritages and cultures. This is an opportunity for all of us — regardless of our background — to come together and appreciate the diversity in our world and our local communities. It’s an opportunity to learn more about how others are similar to us and celebrate our unique differences.

We thank all those who decided to share their stories and contributed to our core value of making people sentirse reconocido – or, in English “feel seen.” And a special thank you to Brandon Valenica who helped come up with our interview questions!

 

Dalia Valencia
TESS Community Manager

Why is celebrating Hispanic heritage important to you, the Hispanic community and the rest of the country?

Hispanic Heritage Month is important for me because it is a time for us to honor our ancestors, our culture and remember our background. Remembering the struggles of our ancestors for independence. To be proud of our roots and teach new generations that are disconnected from our culture, where our ancestors came from, their struggles and the rich traditions they left behind for us. Celebrating the differences that make us unique while honoring those before us!

How has your Hispanic heritage shaped who you are?

My heritage has taught me to express myself, be respectful, modest, grateful, and supportive. Perseverance and determination but most importantly care for those in need.


What is a challenge Hispanic Americans face that people might not know about?

Having to be American and having to be Mexican. Not belonging fully and often being criticized by both countries.

What Hispanic cultural events/holidays do you celebrate? How do you celebrate?

We try to celebrate as many as we can including Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) by remembering those who have passed. Besides Christmas, we celebrate Dia de los Reyes Magos (The Three Kings day or The three Wise Men) with traditional bread and sometimes gifts. Quinceneras, a coming-of-age party for boys but mainly girls at age 15. Cinco de Mayo although more of an American celebration, Mexican Americans enjoy it as well.

Armando Salamanca
Multi-Site Assistant Manager

Why is celebrating Hispanic heritage important to you, the Hispanic community and the rest of the country?

Celebrating Hispanic heritage is important to me because it helps me feel connected to my family and community. Being able to connect with people throughout the states based on culture is amazing.

How has your Hispanic heritage shaped who you are?


As an immigrant, I had to work to pay for my college. Having to work a full-time job while going to school full-time, helped with time management.

What Hispanic cultural events/holidays do you celebrate? How do you celebrate?

Music is important in my culture. Watching the Latin Grammy Awards is a great way to celebrate. Having representation and acknowledgment for great talent in the music industry makes me proud of my culture.

What is a challenge Hispanic Americans face that people might not know about?

Hispanic Americans face discrimination every day in Washington state. Discrimination could be in the workplace, in finding housing, or within the community.

How is Hispanic heritage represented in your local community? If it’s not, how would you like to see it represented?

Hispanic heritage is represented in my local community through food and music. There are so many different types of cuisine and music in the Latin community. Hispanic culture is so diverse, that is great to experience other food from other countries.

Alex Guardian
Regional Maintenance Trainer

Why is celebrating Hispanic heritage important to you, the Hispanic community and the rest of the country?

I think just having a conversation is a great way to get to know not only something about somebody that you can interact with in your daily life but also more about the culture itself because one of the things that we like to talk about is that Latinos are very diverse. We are not all immigrants. We’re not all Mexican-Americans. We don’t all speak Spanish, so there are lots of different iterations and varieties of the Latino community and I think that one of the really interesting things is that you can really learn a lot about many different people and many walks of life by just having a conversation.

How has your Hispanic heritage shaped who you are?

My Hispanic heritage is about family and community traditions, and certainly one of the things that unite me is the impact and influences that family and tradition have had on my life and identity. Shaped me to work hard to reach my goals and be helpful to others that need my help and has made me a better more well-rounded person.

What Hispanic cultural events/holidays do you celebrate? How do you celebrate?

Cinco de Mayo and Hispanic Heritage Month. I usually celebrate with friends and eat delicious carne asada!

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