Hispanic Heritage Month: Honoring the rich tapestry of Hispanic and Latinx cultures
[5 MIN READ]
In this article:
Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15 and runs until October 15.
Hispanic and Latinx individuals offer rich and diverse contributions to every aspect of our society.
Somos Providence Latinx Caregivers Resource Group works to amplify those contributions and lift up their fellow Latinx and Hispanic coworkers – offering a space to be authentic and celebrated.
Since 1968, we have celebrated the diverse and rich contributions and cultures from our fellow citizens that are from (or descended from) Hispanic and Latin American countries. Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off on September 15. The mid-month may seem unusual, but it is intentional. Several Latin American countries celebrate independence days around that time: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rico on September 15; Mexico on September 18; Chile on September 18; and Belize on September 21.
While the celebration is rooted in history, one exciting part of Hispanic Heritage Month is the opportunity to look to the future and how Hispanic and Latinx individuals will continue to shape our country – from the workforce to politics; from entertainment to the laws we follow and so much more.
One impressive statistic that truly captures the impact the Hispanic and Latinx communities have on our country is in the workforce. Here are some impressive and exciting statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor:
- The number of Hispanic workers is expected to grow to 35.9 million by 2030 (compared to 10.7 million in 1990)
- Hispanic members of the U.S. workforce will account for 78% of all new workers between 2020 and 2030
1 out of 5 members of the U.S. workforce will be Hispanic by 2030
The average age of a Hispanic worker is 38.5, compared to 42 years average age for all other workers.
This is particularly exciting for healthcare. When we have more and different backgrounds, cultures, beliefs and experiences, we can better connect with and care for the people, families and communities we serve. That’s why Providence is committed to recruiting, supporting and lifting up workers from all backgrounds. This month, we’re shining a light on the efforts of Somos Providence Latinx Caregivers Resource Group (CRG). Somos in Spanish is translated to “we are” and captures the intention of the group to build community and unity.
Ivette de Rubens (she/her) serves as the executive sponsor for Somos Providence. As the group vice president of IS & RESO Strategy and Centers of Excellence at Providence, she brings her own experience as a Mexican American to advise and support the CRG. She also amplifies the good work being done by individuals in the group within Providence.
“Throughout my 35+ year career, I have experienced the importance and value of diversity in the workplace. I know firsthand the value of building an inclusive environment where everyone feels that they belong and are appreciated for who they are,” Ivette shares. “Groups like Somos Providence are successful because of the passion and commitment of the individuals who have volunteered their time and effort to make it happen.”
Somos Providence is making a significant impact, indeed. Here are just a few of their accomplishments since their beginning in [year]:
- The group is 118 members strong – and growing.
- A mentoring program is currently accepting applications for mentors and mentees.
- They received regional support to sponsor The Wall Las Memorias during their World AIDS Day Commemoration.
- The group actively partners with local food banks and elementary schools.
- They distributed iPads to 65 elementary students in Anaheim.
“I am honored to be part of this group,” shares Ivette. “I believe it’s my responsibility to share some of my experience and give support to the groups that inspire and support Latinx individuals in our organization.”
Here, Ivette shares more information on Somos Providence and how it’s making a difference.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the Somos Providence Latinx Caregiver Resource Group (CRG)?
Somos Providence is a resource group based in Southern California focused on creating community and support for Latinx caregivers in the region. As is usually the case with a successful resource group, Somos Providence is the product of committed and enthusiastic caregivers – in this case, led by Laura Reyes and Danny Fajardo. As a Mexican woman, I am honored to be the executive sponsor of this amazing group.
Photo shared by Brenda L. Hidalgo Senior Manager, Identity and Access Management:
“Here, my mother, her sister, and cousin dressed up in beautiful traditional Guatemalan costumes. The costume known as “traje,” is inspired by history, religion, and the Mayan sacred calendar. When I was six years old, my mother gave me a traditional costume like the one she wore in the picture. Wearing the costume made me feel proud and connected to my Guatemalan heritage.”
Q: Why was the group created?
Somos Providence responded to the need to build a grassroots community that focuses on several areas, including nurturing diversity, celebrating our Latin American roots and traditions, and building supportive mechanisms for the engagement and development of Latinx caregivers across the region.
For many caregivers, having a group that shares and celebrates their own cultural and ethnic heritage goes a long way in their sense of belonging and engagement with the organization.
Q: How does this group build community?
Under Laura and Danny’s leadership, Somos Providence has implemented a very thorough set of community-building strategies. The team has invested time and effort into four main areas:
- Community outreach. Organizing mission-aligned events that provide support to people in need.
- Mentoring. “Curating” a group of mentors and matching them with caregivers who will benefit from these interactions as they grow their careers at Providence.
- Education. Generating awareness and excitement across the broader Providence organization around Latin American cultures and traditions.
- Creating space. Offering a forum or “place” for Providence Latinx caregivers to have a community and access a network of colleagues who share similar cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Photo shared by Anais Flores, Central Services & Digital Imaging Supervisor
“Mexico’s culture is rich, colorful and vibrant. Mexico is unique and probably one of the most fascinating cultures in the world. I love how Mexicans are always smiling, laughing, starting up conversations with complete strangers. We are among the HAPPIEST people on the planet! Mexico is magical.”
Q: How does this group support development of Latinx caregivers’ careers?
A very specific strategy the team has put in place is the mentoring program. This goes a long way in opening opportunities for caregivers at different stages in their career to learn and get guidance from mentors and expand their professional network. For mentors, this is also a great opportunity to learn about the most pressing challenges and the perspective of caregivers in different parts of the organization.
Q: What are some examples of how this group promotes and celebrates diversity?
The team is actively working on projects that showcase Latin American art, including very talented in-house artists. In addition, Somos Providence is working on gathering exciting and meaningful content from caregivers to share around Hispanic Heritage Month.
All the activities and communications are open to anyone in the organization who wishes to participate.
Photo shared by Joel Garcia, Administrative Assistant
“When visiting my family in Guerrero, Mexico, I enjoy the home-made tortillas, made of corn and the smell of its freshness, as they come out. I look forward to eating at the table with my family as we chat about our family stories, with laughter and remembering our childhood. We are blessed with the many traditions that we have in our hometowns, that make our culture so beautiful in our families.”
A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
Providence SoCal Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council (SoCal DE&I) is leading some of our efforts to raise cultural awareness and promote diversity to help build appreciation for cultural traditions. We are also starting conversations to help educate people about different cultures as a way to create a more welcoming, equitable and inclusive environment. We support diversity education and awareness initiatives, thus deepening our ability to provide compassionate care and honor human dignity.
Somos Providence Latinx CRG
To create a welcoming, equitable and inclusive environment for Latinx and all caregivers within the Providence Southern California Region.
We promote a culture of diversity and inclusion with a focus on building community and supporting the development of Latinx caregivers to retain, promote and recruit. We celebrate the diversity of cultures within the Latinx community and encourage continued growth.
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