Sept. 28, 2021
Heritage. We’re all born with it, passed down from generation to generation. But our individual cultures and traditions can vary based on that heritage. So, this Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) we caught up with three Sam’s Club associates—Ivelissa, Sheyla, and Ruben—to take a step back to reflect and educate on as well as appreciate the diversity of Hispanic heritage.
For Ivelissa Rios Torres, a Marketing Senior Manager in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to share the message with her peers that her heritage is important. She also finds herself thinking about all the Puerto Ricans in the United States working to make a better life, including some members of her family. Her heart automatically goes out to them.
What does Ivelissa have to say about educating others on Hispanic Heritage?
I think you can be a better person when you understand other cultures.
"Something that I learned from my parents and now I share with my associates and members is how to work with passion…and I think one of the best ways to educate is by example. When you do things well with passion and dedication, that inspires others to do the same."
For Sheyla Fernandez, a Senior Program Manager in Design and Construction, Hispanic Heritage Month looks a little different. Sheyla was born and raised in Honduras and immigrated to the United States at the age of 14. Now in Bentonville, Arkansas, she and her family reflect on growing up in Honduras and all the things that have happened leading up to where they are now.
Sheyla’s grandmother shares many of these stories with her, and they have been a major source of motivation and inspiration. She taught Sheyla to never give up, to always try some more and be hungry to learn and succeed, and to take others along with you as you go. She would always say, "Don’t try to keep everything that you learned to yourself!"
So Sheyla carries this lesson with her, passing on what she’s learned to empower associates to succeed and grow within the company. She also passes on knowledge about her Hispanic heritage.
What does Sheyla have to say about educating others on Hispanic Heritage?
Knowledge is so powerful. But it’s even more powerful when we share it with others.
When Sheyla moved to Arkansas, people would ask her what part of Mexico she is from.
"I took this chance to share my story about growing up in Honduras and where my family is. So, I always take it as an opportunity to share my heritage and explain the similarities between cultures."
Ruben Cisneros, a Club Manager currently based in Honolulu, Hawaii, gives us yet another perspective of Hispanic Heritage Month. You see, Ruben’s father immigrated to the United States from Mexico with only five dollars in his pocket. Through hard work and never giving up, he now runs his own construction company.
For Ruben, Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate with good food. But beyond that, it’s a time to reflect on the sacrifices Hispanics, like his father, have made for their family. With Ruben becoming a Club Manager at the age of 26, the sacrifices of those before him means everything.
What does Ruben have to say about educating others on Hispanic Heritage?
While Ruben did not grow up in Mexico, he gains deeper understanding and perspective from his parents and others who did so he can share that knowledge. Growing up, he would ask his dad why Hispanic Heritage Month is so important and have his dad share anything he remembers from back in the day.
I still learn from it. I still ask those questions.
Ivelissa’s, Sheyla’s, and Ruben’s stories are just a few among many illustrations of how Hispanic Heritage Month is honored and celebrated. Despite their unique cultural backgrounds and physical distance, they are connected as they reflect, reminisce, and educate.