Christina Dupre and Jose Araque are leaders of one of Jabian’s new ERG teams, Nuestro. Nuestro focuses on enriching and facilitating an inclusive workplace for those of Hispanic and Latino heritage. We connected with Christina and Jose to learn more about their own Hispanic backgrounds and how they will be celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month.
What does being of Hispanic heritage mean to you?
Christina: For me being of Hispanic Heritage means living up to the core values that are part of our culture. Inclusivity and the importance of family and community are key.
Jose: Hispanic Heritage is a celebration of who I am. My children will be 1st generation Americans and so I treasure the culture and values I have inherited from my parents and family. I take great pride and responsibility in passing on Hispanic heritage so that my children know who we are and the journey and sacrifices we have made to live in the United States.
What is a Hispanic tradition you have or that has been passed down to you?
Christina: A love of food and sharing it with others. Food is at the center of the Hispanic culture, and I have fond memories of being in the kitchen with my grandmothers and my mom. Growing up, my sister and I used to make arepas with our grandma and make a total mess in her kitchen. To this day when I eat an arepa it reminds me of the fun we had.
Jose: On New Year’s Day we try to bring everyone together to have a Colombian feast to kick the year off with fun and laughter. The idea is that by having a get-together on day one, we can set a great tone and outlook for the next 364 days.
How will you be celebrating? How can others that are not of Hispanic heritage support and celebrate?
Christina: I will be celebrating by going to the Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami soccer game celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. I will then be cooking some of my favorite dishes for family and friends.
Jose: I will be celebrating by going to local Hispanic restaurants to support them and by reading at least one article about a Hispanic professional and their journey to where they are now. I encourage everyone to have an open mind and reach out to their Hispanic colleagues to learn more about them. Sometimes listening and learning is the best way to support and celebrate.
Do you have any role models who inspire you to celebrate Hispanic heritage?
Jose: My parents are my biggest role models that inspire me. They left their country of 40+ years to restart their careers so that my brothers and I could have a shot at living the American Dream. I strive every day to make sure their sacrifice for us is appreciated.
What advice do you have for other professionals of Hispanic heritage for being successful in the consulting field?
Christina: My advice would be to plug into the Hispanic community whether through ERGs, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, or other community organizations to grow your network locally.
Jose: Don’t be afraid to use your heritage to deepen a client connection. I’ve had many fantastic conversations with my clients where our cultural similarities and differences helped future conversations flow more fluidly.
What are ways we can celebrate Hispanic heritage outside of Hispanic Heritage Month?
Christina: One of my favorite ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage throughout the year is by visiting and supporting local Hispanic restaurants. Getting out in the community and volunteering is another way. Also, when it feels safe and the travel bug hits, plan a trip to Latin America. People often tend to plan trips to Europe but there are amazing places to visit in Latin America (and you don’t have to deal with a crazy time change)! For inspiration, I recommend checking out Magical Andes on Netflix.
Jose: In my opinion, immersion into another’s culture through their food and dining traditions is one of the best ways to celebrate that culture/heritage. I would recommend enjoying some fantastic Hispanic food from different countries in your city.