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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month – and the Power of Diversity

With Hispanic Heritage Month underway, you’ll see Port employees celebrating by attending lunch and learns in the office and out in the community at Bella Noche or El Grito events. Read on to learn more about the significance of Hispanic Heritage Month from Mina Mora-González, who leads the Port’s Latinx + Friends employee resource group (ERG) and – as the Port’s HQ receptionist – will be familiar to anyone who’s visited our front desk.

As a Mexican-born woman who was brought from Mexico as an infant and struggled to assimilate in a predominantly white community, my journey toward embracing my culture and identity has been a transformative one. I credit my parents for instilling in me the language and traditions of our heritage, which laid a strong foundation. However, it wasn't until adulthood and becoming a mother that I truly understood the importance of passing down this rich cultural legacy to my children.

As a history enthusiast, I have witnessed how our diverse cultures have intersected and supported each other throughout history. This realization fueled my desire to educate others and create a stronger, more inclusive future. To achieve these goals, [the Port’s Latinx and Friends Employee Resource Group] recognized that bringing in exceptional local speakers while enjoying delicious food would be an effective way to engage and educate our community [during Hispanic Heritage Month].

Ernesto Fonseca, Chief Executive Officer of Hacienda Community Development Corporation, joins Port employees on the HQ patio

Yessenia Carlos, Port Talent Acquisition Specialist, preparing elotes (grilled Mexican street corn) bought from a local farmer
John Cárdenas, Port Contracting Manager and
Ernesto Fonseca
Elotes are typically served with a variety of toppings
Ernesto Fonseca shared his story with Port employees

Why is it important to you personally to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month holds personal significance for me as it allows me to honor the sacrifices and contributions of those who came before me. It's a time to recognize and celebrate the rich tapestry of Hispanic cultures, which have shaped our communities in countless ways. By celebrating together, we can foster understanding, appreciation, and pride in our heritage. It's about preserving our traditions, amplifying our voices, and ensuring that future generations grow up with a sense of belonging and cultural pride.

Why is it important that we celebrate this at the Port, with our Port colleagues?
The Port is a microcosm of our diverse society, and celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month within our Port community is an opportunity to foster inclusivity and strengthen our connections. By recognizing and celebrating the cultural contributions of our colleagues, we create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected. We can break down barriers, bridge cultural gaps, and cultivate a sense of unity and appreciation for the rich diversity within our workforce. Together, we can build a stronger and more inclusive Port community.

What was the Latinx and Friends vision for this year's Hispanic Heritage Month?
The vision of Latinx and Friends for this year's Hispanic Heritage Month was to educate, inspire, and create dialogue. Our goal was to showcase the interconnectedness of our cultures, emphasizing how we have helped each other through history's challenges. We aimed to provide enlightening experiences by inviting exceptional local speakers who could share their unique perspectives and expertise. Through these educational initiatives, we aspired to foster a greater understanding and appreciation for the contributions of Hispanic communities.

"Let's celebrate the power of diversity, embrace our shared heritage, and continue to create a supportive and united community within the Port."


- Mina Mora-González

What do you want our colleagues and our partners to take away from this year's Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations?
From this year's Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, I hope our colleagues and partners gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the richness and diversity of Hispanic cultures. I want them to recognize the resilience, creativity, and contributions of our communities throughout history. By learning from each other's experiences, we can build bridges of understanding and work towards a more inclusive and equitable future.