A Working Mom Latina’s Perspective on Hispanic Heritage Month

Josi Gago

 Cultural diversity affords “out of the box” thinking.

 

I think this year, National Hispanic Heritage Month–which is celebrated from September 15 to October 15–has a significant meaning, more so than in past years.

With the political division, tension, and strong emotions running in our country, saying that the feelings of passion can be extreme at times is an understatement.

As an American-born Cuban, I grew up listening to stories from my parents of loss and sadness as they came to this country with nothing more than a few dollars, their dignity, and the drive to start again.

They, like many others before them, left their wealth, security, and loved ones behind, not to mention their life-long dreams. I also saw triumphs, many successes, and numerous accomplishments.

My father, while having his Master’s Degree was learning a new language. He was willing to work any job to support his family with dignity and honor, and he did just that.

My mother managed to work caring for the children of strangers just so that she could be home with her own. Life was difficult, but their good values were strong and the meaning of why we were here was never in doubt.

Today, I consider myself very fortunate with my multicultural background. I speak several languages and over the years have obtained jobs specifically because of my diversity.

My ability to “think outside the box” and be accepting of other cultures has been a huge advantage, and I believe has come as a direct result of my heritage.

The experience has given me great insight on better understanding global issues and tolerance for others that are different.

So whether it’s Hispanic Heritage, or any other heritage, at the end of the day, we all come together.  We unite, suffer together, and celebrate together–because united, we stand.

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