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NHT Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month!

Celebrating la cultura

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, NHT's AmeriCorps VISTA Selena Duvivier and Resident Services intern Kiya Rodriguez worked together to highlight the culture, food, and music of the Latinx culture for all of staff. This series of activities - dubbed the Latinx Orgullo Project - sought to highlight beautiful and diverse nature of Latinx culture. One such activity included a list of favorite Latin dishes for staff to try.

Click here to try these dishes yourself!

Recognizing Our Latinx Colleagues

In addition to a group discussion regarding terms and identities in Latinx culture and a presentation on Latinx arts and music, Selena and Kiya interviewed several staff members to understand what Latinx culture means to them. Check out those individuals below!


Picture of Jennifer Sharifian

Jennifer Sharifian

    Position at NHT: Operations Account Generalist

    Time with NHT: Over 3 years

    Favorite Latinx recipe/dish?: La tortilla de papa; almost like a potato omelet, but 10x better!

    If you could share one value from your culture, what would it be?: Helping each other out. This is one thing that's so strong about the Latinx community: we look out for one another.

 

 

More about Jennifer 

  • Where does your family originate from?
    • Mother is from Southern Spain; father is Jewish and 2nd generation Ukrainian.
  • What does being Latinx mean to you?
    • So much. I love being American with a Hispanic background that has a beautiful taste of culture, music and food. We're all one big community and I love the diversity.
  • How has being Latinx influenced your life?
    • Growing up, there wasn't a lot of representation in my community. As I got older and studied in Southern Florida, I felt a larger connection to my community.
  • What is your favorite part of Latinx culture?
    • In general, the people. They're open, friendly, caring and willing. We all look out for one another regardless of backgrounds.
  • How do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
    • It was hard to celebrate during COVID-19; typically I will celebrate through events held by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and in downtown Silver Spring, where there are festivals and celebrations all month-long. Celebrating is important because growing up, it was sort of embarrassing to speak Spanish due to the lack of prideful celebration we see today.

Picture of Selena Duvivier

Selena Duvivier

    Position at NHT: AmeriCorps Vista for the Resident Services team

    Time with NHT: 1 year and 9 months

    Favorite Latinx recipe/dish?: Bistec encebollado; roughly translates to thin steak smothered in onions, yum!

    If you could share one value from your culture, what would it be?: The love and support for Latinx individuals within the Latinx community and outside of it.

 

More about Selena

  • Where does your family originate from?
    • I was born and raised in Philadelphia; however, my paternal grandfather is from Puerto Rico and my maternal grandmother immigrated to the States from Colombia.
  • What does being Latinx mean to you?
    • Growing up, I was known as the "white girl" in my family which forced me to dive deeper into my culture to find my place in it all. I found that my heritage is culturally rich and beautifully diverse, and has become very engrained into my sense of identity.
  • How has being Latinx influenced your life?
    • Hearing stories about my grandmother's journey to this county as dark-skinned, Spanish-speaking woman, and being surrounded by other Latinx cultures growing up heavily influenced my life.
  • What is your favorite part of Latinx culture?
    • Food and music, no doubt. The best night to me is going out dancing salsa and ending the night eating some tacos.
  • How do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
    • By supporting Latinx-owned business as often as I can.

Picture of Kiya RodriguezKiya Rodriguez

    Position at NHT: Resident Services Intern

    Time with NHT: Started in September 2020!

    Favorite Latinx recipe/dish?: Sancocho; however tostones (fried plantains) is one that I can cook!

    If you could share one value from your culture, what would it be?: Community. If the world banded together like the Latino community, it would be a much more beautiful, supporting place to thrive and grow.

 

More about Kiya

  • Where did your family originate from?
    • My father's family is from the Dominican Republic; my mother was born and raised in the District of Columbia.
  • What does being Latinx mean to you?
    • It means being proud of where you came from and appreciating your roots. Embracing every part of your heritage, whether that's your family, the music - it's really about learning to enjoy the part of the culture you were immersed in.
  • How has being Latinx influenced your life?
    • It forces you to be involved with everyone around you, to be selfless. You learn to contribute to other people's happiness through the learned teachings of elders.
  • Favorite part of Latinx culture?
    • The food! <3
  • How do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
    • Really by appreciating the food and music; eating more and listening to a specific playlist that puts you in a great mood.
11.9.2020