The history and significance of Hispanic Heritage Month
Growing up in El Paso, Texas, Sairym Ibarra did not know what Hispanic Heritage Month was. In fact, she wasn’t even aware that she was part of a minority group until she left her native city and went to work for Amazon in Seattle. There, she started hearing about Latinx events and keynote speakers organized by the employee affinity group Latinos@Amazon.
Paul Chavez’s upbringing was quite different from Ibarra’s. The middle son in a Mexican family, Chavez was born and raised in the Seattle area, where Hispanics represent only 6.6 percent of the total population today.
"I felt that I had to work twice as hard, because even when applying for college, there was no one who could guide me on how to do that," said Chavez, now a senior recruiting lead at Amazon.
His background, he said, "made me who I am: extremely hardworking and empathetic, because I can put myself in other peoples’ shoes." Both he and Ibarra are the first members of their families to attend and graduate from college. Like Ibarra, Chavez had not heard about Hispanic Heritage Month until he began celebrating it at Amazon.
Oct 01, 2020 at 11:53