Close panel

Close panel

Close panel

Close panel

Diversity 22 Sep 2020

Bringing your authentic self to work: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

There are more than 10,000 team members spread across BBVA USA’s footprint, each with a unique story to tell. Earlier this year, we introduced a new series to celebrate this rich diversity of experience: “Bringing Your Authentic Self to Work.” To recognize Hispanic Heritage Month, we spoke to seven BBVA team members about what they love about their Hispanic heritage and how it has contributed to who they are today. Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15-Oct. 15 in recognition of several Latin American independence days, recognizes and celebrates the contributions that people tracing their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean have made to American society and culture.

How does your heritage contribute to the person you are today?
I’m from Sonora, Mexico, a state that even among Mexicans is not well known and often forgotten. My heritage and background motivate me to disrupt the world, to change paradigms, and to fight stereotypes. This mindset cultivates a willingness to help anyone that needs it and to be eager to listen, learn, and innovate. BBVA’s passion for people aligns perfectly with my values and that is what makes me proud of being part of our company.

What’s something you love about your heritage?
Even through adversity, we stay positive. The difficult times our people have faced make it possible for us to approach every day with a smile. We believe that hard work and dedication are key to forge a better future, and we do not take things for granted. Our family, our job, every obstacle we overcome, the friends we make along the way are all part of us, and we treasure them.


How does your heritage contribute to the person you are today?
I am a political refugee in the U.S. I grew up in Colombia but moved here after my father was murdered. The political and economic environment in Colombia in the 1990s was difficult, but all of those challenges have made an impact on the person I am today. Every Colombian can testify about the injustices they experienced and witnessed growing up in a country dominated by political corruption. However, you also learn how to be positive and encouraging despite the circumstances. My culture has shaped me to be the strong, positive-minded woman I am today. I’m glad to be in the U.S. and to continue to raise my family with our Latino heritage.

What’s something you love about your heritage?
Our culture is very welcoming; as my mom says, “we have never met a stranger.” We love to make others feel at home and make sure they have all the tools to be successful. ¡Bienvenido a nuestra familia!


How does your heritage contribute to the person you are today?
My Hispanic heritage is the mold that shaped my upbringing and continues to influence my professional and personal life.  My parents made a decision in the early 1980s to leave behind what they had established in Peru, not by choice, but by a need to temporarily distance ourselves from the political and civil unrest my country was facing. The temporary stay became permanent, and I witnessed the hard work and dedication my parents put into making a home for us here in the U.S.

From an early age, I understood the importance of appreciation and how fulfilling it is to put everything you have into everything you do. Respect, communication, and collaboration were the guiding principles in my home, which I learned by example. Presently, these important life lessons foster my continued willingness to make a difference at home and work. I place great value in the little things that go a long way; the minor details that can mean a great deal to others.

What’s something you love about your heritage?
My heritage is often associated with cultural sites like Machu Picchu and hundreds of other archeological wonders or the richness of our culinary traditions, but what I admire most as a native Peruvian is the people’s constant struggle to overcome tribulations. This clearly is what drives me to adapt, press forward, and succeed. It is because of this characteristic and our rich history that we continue to make strides, propelling us admirably onto the next set of challenges.


How does your heritage contribute to the person you are today?
My mother and father were born in Cuba and fled the Cuban regime as young children with nothing but the clothing on their backs. My grandparents wanted a better life for their children, so they took the risk of giving up everything to come to the U.S. where they knew no one, had no jobs, and didn’t speak the language. I am who I am today because of how strong my grandparents and parents were despite everything they went through. Their example taught me that with hard work and perseverance, you can do anything that you put your mind to. I apply their work ethic to my life and always remind myself that it doesn’t matter where you come from, but rather how hard you try that allows you to succeed in life.

What’s something you love about your heritage?
I love cooking Cuban food and having my family together. Family is everything in my heritage, so whether we’re eating, playing dominoes, or dancing salsa, we just enjoy being all together as a family. I also love the diversity of my heritage; I believe that’s what makes our food, music, and island so beautiful!


How does your heritage contribute to the person you are today?
My Mexican heritage explains a great deal of who I am. It is the set of values, stories, and traditions passed down from my family, learned from my teachers, and shared with the people I grew up with. It is the lens through which I see and interpret the world, no matter how old I am or how many years I live abroad.

What’s something you love about your heritage?
I love the Spanish language—its sounds, its richness, and its vitality. The Spanish language is more alive than ever thanks to the nearly 500 million people around the world who speak it every day


How does your heritage contribute to the person you are today?
My Hispanic heritage has strongly shaped the person I am today. The family unit is very important in our culture. It plays such a central role that we spend much of our time cultivating and strengthening our family ties. We tend to have close-knit families, and an overt respect for the elderly. This has greatly helped me understand family dynamics when meeting with international clients and prospects.

What’s something you love about your heritage?
Hispanics are a very group-oriented people. We come from a collectivistic culture in which group activities are dominant, and great emphasis is placed on cooperation and harmony within the group. We love to live, work, and relax in groups. There is always a reason, or excuse, to gather around and celebrate. Our culture is not only colorful and vibrant, but also rich in traditions and values. It is probably one of the most fascinating cultures in the world.


How does your heritage contribute to the person you are today?
My Hispanic heritage contributes to the way I make decisions on a daily basis. Having a dual cultural identity allows me to approach life with compassion for those who look or think differently than me. Being fluent in English and Spanish makes the world accessible and approachable as I can communicate with and relate to so many people. I’m a proud Latino, and thanks to my heritage, I feel equipped to take on my goals for the future!

What’s something you love about your heritage?
I feel blessed to have grown up in a family-oriented culture that allows me to be successful and empathetic in my personal and work relationships. The saying “It takes a village” couldn’t be more true of our heritage. Whether it was my neighbor, teacher, doctor, mom, dad, or abuela, I always knew that someone was looking out for me. I hope to be able to share that upbringing with my children and future generations.


Featured employees:  Oscar Trujillo, Luisa Montoya, Paolo Casabone, Rebecca Diaz, Marcial Nava, Minerva Santos, Marlon Figueroa-Redondo

Click here to read more articles and stories about the bank’s employees, culture and workplace efforts.

To explore U.S. career opportunities at BBVA, click here.