Rebecca Childree, Executive Assistant at L.E.K. in San Francisco and member of LatinX@LEK, tells us what Hispanic Heritage Month means to her and why we should bring “alegría” to our lives this month.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what has this month means to you personally?
I come from a Hispanic household in San Francisco and was raised by my grandmother and grandfather who are from Nicaragua and Spain, respectively. I had lived in the same house my whole life until I went to University of Colorado Boulder for undergrad. I majored in International Affairs with a focus on Latin American studies, so I have a soft spot for the arts, history, politics, and culture of Latin America. Where I grew up, Hispanic Heritage Month is very much celebrated. Dancing is a huge part of our culture, and we love to eat our native foods; for my family it is a lot of plantains, rice, beans, seafood, and pork. For me personally, I love to explore my culture and learn more about others through familial stories, and Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to do so.
Why do you feel it is important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
The United States has the largest community of Latinos outside of Latin America. In celebrating Hispanic Heritage month, it is also a celebration of American culture as the histories and people of Latin America and the US are so connected and intertwined. Hispanics culture is known for being fun, exciting, colorful, and vibrant. “Alegría” – which means joy or happiness, is the first word that comes to mind for me when describing the spirit of this month and the spirit of Hispanic people. This month is a good time to try something new and exciting – go out and join a dance class, try a new food, learn about people’s stories and get to know the Hispanic world a bit better. I’m looking forward to engaging with my L.E.K. colleagues at a lunch LatinX@LEK is hosting for the office that will have a video presentation and Argentinean empanadas. There are other events happening at our other L.E.K. offices as well - like salsa dancing classes and LatinX inspired trivia.
I hope everyone is filled con mucha alegría this month!