“Hispanic Heritage Month is an invitation to acknowledge and celebrate the presence of our Latinx and Hispanic people in this country.”
For Carina Gomez, a Water Quality Tech within the SFPUC’s Wastewater Enterprise, Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to consciously reflect on the principles and achievements of those that came before her. “While Latinx and Hispanic people are minorities here, they have played a fundamental role in developing the country that we know today,” explains Gomez.
From the rich culture to the diverse community, the roots of those in the Hispanic and Latinx communities are deeply intertwined into American culture. The contributions that those in the Hispanic community have made to our society have played and continue to play a critical role in the cultural, historical, political, and social evolution. “In a time when there is much division and separation, it is important to stand up together in crisis and celebration. Together our voices are louder and can be used for the greater good of all people,” she shared.
Aside from the sound of mariachi, delicious food, and drinks; the thing that makes Gomez most proud of her culture is her people. “I am very orgullosa (proud) of mi gente linda. Our diverse culture, work ethic, prioritizing family, and resiliency of overcoming struggle is the most honorable to me. I am proud of my identity because I am what my ancestors fought for and the contributions they made,” said Gomez.
This year’s theme for Hispanic Heritage Month is “Esperanza: a Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” which has meant a lot to her. For Gomez, this year’s theme pays homage to her ancestors who fought hard to create a better life in a new country. “Esperanza is many times the only thing our people bring when they come to this foreign country to build a better life. It is a beautiful theme to commemorate the fiery fighting spirit of this community of people.”