National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year in the United States from September 15 to October 15 by honoring “the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.” Each year has a different theme, with the theme for 2022 being “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.”
As I set out to write this article, I started by listing the many accomplishments and contributions of the American Latino community to our society. This led me to think of the many ways I personally identify with the Hispanic/Latin culture.
It was no grand revelation that I identify first as a ‘global’ citizen. I feel at home trotting the globe with a sense of human connection unlimited by cultures or borders. Distilled further, I am American with a love and appreciation for my Latin heritage. I suppose being born and raised in New York City, surrounded by friends from different races, cultures, and religions, led me to this inclusive perspective. It is also no surprise that, professionally, I gravitated to the talent recruiting industry with a company that is committed to integrity to our clients and finding the best candidates out there, a vital component of this is a dedication to diversity and inclusion, where people of all ethnicities and backgrounds are able to find rewarding and fulfilling careers.
Global citizen, American, New York native, or Latina – I don’t care much for labels. However, I do love Latin-flavored cuisine, and I also have some serious Salsa dance moves!
To this myriad of rich and vibrant Latin American cultures, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
Frida Kahlo, a painter, born in Mexico, is one of my favorite artists. Beyond her art is an incredibly fascinating life story.
Fernando Botero, a Colombian figurative artist and sculptor: His beautiful rotund sculptures once lined the flower bed malls of Park Avenue in New York City.
José Campeche, considered one of the best Rococo artists in the Americas, was born in Puerto Rico. His works grace the walls of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Isabel Allende, a Chilean writer, is one of my favorite authors and a master of magical realism.
Paulo Coelho, a writer and lyricist from Brazil and author of “The Alchemist,” is one of my favorite books blending spirituality, magical realism, and folklore into something soul-touching.
Gabriel García Márquez, a Colombian-born novelist, screenwriter, and journalist, won a Nobel Prize for Literature and has a solid place in my home library.
Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet, diplomat, and politician, won a Nobel Prize for Literature. His poetry is so lyrical that I lose myself in his writing time and time again.
Lin Manuel Miranda, a composer, lyricist, and actor from New York with roots in Puerto Rico: Who hasn’t heard of “Hamilton,” his critically acclaimed musical?
The fashion industry
Oscar de la Renta, an internationally renowned fashion designer born in the Dominican Republic, creates beautiful, impeccably tailored pieces.
Carolina Herrera is another internationally known fashion designer, born in Venezuela, who creates beautifully feminine pieces.
Medicine and science
Dr. Antonia Novello was the first woman and first Hispanic Surgeon General of the United States. She was born in Puerto Rico.
Julio Palmaz, an Argentine, invented the balloon-expandable stent that revolutionized medicine and saved countless lives.
Guillermo González Camarena, a Mexican engineer, invented color TV!
Roberto Landell de Moura, a Catholic priest from Brazil, discovered the earliest wireless telephone system.
Sonia Sotomayor is a U.S. Supreme Court Justice and New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent.
Dr. Albizu Campos, a Puerto Rican, helped in the writing of the Constitution of Ireland when the Irish Free State was established.
As you can see, my list could get long! I haven’t even touched on the contributions and accomplishments of the American Latino community in music and sports. For the sake of brevity, I highlighted some of my favorites to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
If you’re curious about the evolution of this month-long observance in the United States, you can get a snapshot here: 15 Fun Hispanic Heritage Month Facts About How the Annual Celebration Came to Be.
If you are a company interested in hiring a diverse pool of stellar candidates or searching for a role with a company committed to finding the best talent from all backgrounds, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I would love to hear from you!