National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed each year from September 15 to October 15 throughout the United States. Throughout this month-long celebration, we recognize the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens who have immigrated or have ancestry from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Some History About Hispanic Heritage Month:
- In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson began this celebration with Hispanic Heritage Week.
- 20 years later, President Ronald Reagan expanded it into a month-long observation.
- Why a month-long celebration that doesn’t simply start from the beginning to end of one month?
- The dates chosen are significant.
- September 15 is the anniversary of independence for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
- Mexico and Chile’s independence days are celebrated, respectively, on September 16 and 18.
To honor this extraordinary month, System Soft Technologies will highlight some of our employees who are of Hispanic and Latino descent.
Meet Andres Ovalle
In today’s post, the spotlight is on Andres Ovalle, a Marketing Campaign Coordinator. For the past six months, he’s been part of the marketing team at System Soft.
Here’s what Andres has to say:
“I am blessed to be working with a wonderful team in the marketing department (#dreamteam)! As a Marketing Campaign Coordinator, I work with the Cloud and Microsoft practice areas to coordinate and execute value-based, integrated marketing campaigns. Working within a variety of marketing channels, I create content and strategic messaging to drive meaningful leads that convert to sales opportunities. I contribute to strategic planning and report actionable insights to the sales and marketing teams.”
Andres also graciously answered five questions about his career, life and heritage. So, here’s more about him in his own words.
What does National Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to reflect on my family and upbringing. I look back on my childhood when I lived in Santiago, Chile (where my father is from) from ages six to eight.
I learned Spanish to adapt to the culture, then returned to the United States knowing two languages. My mother, who is Colombian, mainly spoke to my brothers and me in English at home. But she always emphasized the importance of knowing two languages, especially because we lived in a diverse Washington, D.C. suburb.
It’s also a great time to catch up with my extended families to enjoy food, music and stories about all of us growing up.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself, as it relates to your heritage.
It’s all about food and spending time with family. On my mother’s side, we love to get together and cook on the grill.
One Colombian dish (my favorite) is called “Bandeja Paisa,” which has all the essentials: pork, red beans, white rice, carne molida (ground meat), chicharrón, fried egg, plantain, chorizo, arepa, avocado and lemon. It’s usually served on a platter or tray, making it a perfect meal to keep you full for the day.
Who or what would you say was your greatest influence for your career?
My greatest influence for my career would have to be my entire family. They’ve always been so supportive in my career endeavors and always knew how to make me laugh during the hardships along the way.
From the values instilled in me since day one, I would not be where I am today, if it wasn’t for my family pushing me to be a better individual.
In your opinion, what challenges remain for Hispanic Americans today and how can understanding history help us overcome them?
I believe a challenge that remains for Hispanic Americans today is having access to a college degree. Some Hispanic families do not have sufficient funds to pay for their kids to attend college, making it difficult for them to earn a degree and start a career.
Another challenge that remains is finding inclusion within communities. Like many other cultures, Hispanic people who immigrate to the U.S. hope to start better lives. It was always a challenge to be included from the established communities and norms that were created.
What does it mean to you that System Soft celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month?
I think it’s great that we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month! It shows System Soft believes in diversity and wants to take the time to get to know their employees on a personal level and they care about their ideas and creative thoughts.
It also shows that System Soft wants to continue to be a global company and learn so many different cultures and traditions.
Hispanic Heritage Month Journey on Social
Throughout the month-long celebration, follow and interact with System Soft’s commemorative journey on our social media. Across our platforms, we will highlight famous quotes, fun facts, infographics and inspirational stories.
On our blog, we will spotlight other System Soft employees who are part of the Hispanic and Latino communities, as we stay committed to our mission and core values, appreciating the support and kindness we give each other.