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Voices that Join Together Celebrate as One: Hispanic Heritage Month 2022

Photo by Bayu jefri
  • Malissa Brust, client analyst, Apple vendor solutions
  • Hector Garcia, director, talent management
  • Vanessa Kraft, vendor marketing manager, USPS NetApp
  • Ed Morales, global vice president, security & high-growth business development

Tell us a little about your Hispanic heritage.

Malissa: My grandparents on my mom’s side are from the Dominican Republic. They migrated from DR to New York city. They started a new life for themselves and raised a family of four kids. My grandmother is the one who taught me about my Hispanic Heritage. She taught me how to cook delicious Dominican dishes.

He was then forced to work for the government like a prisoner for 3 years gathering sugar cane, tobacco, and performing just about any work for the country- prior to escaping Cuba.

My grandmother would visit the camp with my father to bring my grandfather food and see his family. They were limited to one hour each visit. Six months prior to escaping Cuba, he met a Chief that allowed him to cook for the Cuban military at the camp site as his primary job where he was also allowed to indulge in the food. The “Okay” to leave the country was delivered as a letter by a guard- my father’s family left the island by plane to Miami.

Growing up in Florida, my parents made authentic Cuban dishes that I cook now for my family and I’ve always enjoyed dancing to Latin music.

Why is Hispanic Heritage Month important to you, personally?


Hispanic Heritage is important to me because not only do I learn more about my heritage, but everyone is together celebrating it!

Only half of my heritage is Dominican, so growing up the only real exposure I had was through food and the Spanish novelas my mother would watch. I did not grow up speaking Spanish, so I felt there was a big gap in my knowledge about my heritage. I made it a point to learn about my Hispanic history and culture so I can fully celebrate it with everyone.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a reminder to the honor of all those who endure to maintain connection to our past while still forging a pathway to an ever-expanding diverse force (fuerza) that empowers our Hispanic culture.

How do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?

Malissa: Some of the things I do for Hispanic Heritage Month is cook all my favorite Hispanic foods. I also try to learn how to make different types of Hispanic food from different regions. If there is an event or a gathering, I try to go to those as well!

What do you want people to know about Hispanic Heritage Month?

Malissa: I want people to know that the Hispanic community might be under the same umbrella, but we do not all have the same traditions.

There are fascinating nuances that makes each subset of Hispanic culture different.

Vanessa: No matter your ethnicity, you can get involved in some way. Join Latinos Run with Fuerza, donate to a local Hispanic organization, offer your bilingual skills, and/or support local Latin businesses. At the end of the day, it’s about unity while also amplifying the Hispanic voices during the months of September and October.



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