Here at HACE, I look around and I’m surrounded by many influential Latinos. The mere thought of being a part of such an impactful and flourishing set of people has truly made me more orgullosa than ever before. I am humbled to know that our culture and its representation is ever thriving and more vibrant than ever. However, asking the question, “what makes your culture more unique than others,” is an extremely subjective question. Let’s try and understand what makes being Latino/Latina an experience of a lifetime.
Is it the food? The music? The art? The family togetherness? The culturally engraved traditions?
HACE turned to its staff to hone down on how their cultural background sets them apart from everyone else.
“We are a beautiful mosaic of different people that add their own flavor, values, unique beliefs and talents to our culture.” -Mireya Luna, Program Manager of Mujeres de HACE.
“My favorite part about my culture is the joy that we express through dancing, food and good laughs with friends. We are a very optimistic culture!” -Rocio Mendez, Director of Operations.
“The warm feeling that floods your entire body when you see your house full of your family from the eldest to the youngest. Always united, laughing or crying, but always together while mom and abuelita pour their heart into the food they’ve prepared with the techniques they’ve inherited from generation to generation. Nothing compares to the unity, love and respect that defines our culture. This is my favorite part.” -Rosa Banderas, Administrative Assistant
Overall, expressing every aspect of your culture has proven to be far from possible. With so many interwoven ideologies that carry so much weight it is impossible to clearly understand the foundation or even the vital fragments that make up an individual’s culture. However, one thing that we do know is that diversity has become a topic of great importance as of late. More and more people have begun to strive for a heavily diverse dynamic when it comes to schools, organizations and the workplace. What does diversity offer a group of people? Different opinions, different outlooks on life and knowledge-- where knowledge wouldn’t otherwise exist. Being able to associate and reflect on someone else’s culture that is unknown to you can be so enriching. These differences not only allow organizations to have a better understanding of the general population, but allow them to have a better understanding of themselves.
“I think the great thing about diversity is the opportunity to not only bring different things to the table but also learn from each other. Even within the Latino culture there are so many different languages, foods and cultures. If appreciated, this allows us to really grow as a group and as a society.”- Vanessa Valentin, Strategic Partnership Manager.
Even Michael Iacovazzi Pau, Director of Strategic Partnerships at HACE, can agree that diversity is essential in this day and age.
“I don’t identify myself with just one culture. Having two nationalities and having lived in multiple countries in my life, I consider myself a global citizen. That mix of ethnicity and exposure to other cultures has been an enriching experience which helps me connect and relate with people of diverse background.”
Currently, the U.S. population is 318.9 million. The Hispanic population in the U.S. is 55.4 million and this number is projected to rise to 60 million in 2020. If we take a quick look at how the Hispanic population contributes to the U.S. population overall, then one can see how much our culture has flourished over the years. However, nuestra cultura hasn’t reached its full bloom just yet… we’re only getting started.