Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the contributions and influence of Latinx/Hispanic Americans on our culture and achievements as a country. At Marqeta, we’re proud to be celebrating Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month (LHM) this year, which started on September 15th in celebration of the date when five Latin American Countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua – earned their independence from Spain in 1821. The celebration lasts through October 15th.
Hispanic Heritage Month was first introduced in the United States in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, when it was only a week-long, known then as National Hispanic Heritage Week. At the time, Johnson said Hispanic Heritage Week was established because he wishes “to pay special tribute to the Hispanic tradition, and having in mind the fact that our five Central American neighbors celebrate their Independence Day on the fifteenth of September and the Republic of Mexico on the sixteenth, the Congress by House Joint Resolution 1299, has requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating the week including September 15 and 16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week.” In 1989, Congress expanded Heritage Week from a week to a month long celebration after it was amended into public law in 1988 by Ronald Reagan.
At Marqeta, we are making sure we honor, celebrate and educate ourselves on Latin culture and heritage during LHM, even while we can’t physically be together. Our Employee Resource Group, HOLA (Hispanic or Latin American employees), has planned a number of exciting company-wide events for Marqetans. We kicked off the festivities on September 15th with a diversity and inclusion panel with Leo Sosa, CEO of Dev/Mission, Frances Coronel, Software Engineer at Slack and Executive Director at Techqueria and Ruth Llanos-Vos, Associate Product Manager at UKG & Co-Chair and Board member of Latinas in Computing. This panel included a thought-provoking discussion on the meaning of diversity and inclusion and enabled Marqetans to ask the panel questions to truly understand the importance.
Events scheduled at Marqeta throughout the month will include a remote viewing of Immigration Nation, a Latinx DJ Radio Show hosted by DJ Undocubougie and DJ Hija del Volcon and a Mezcal tasting hosted by our very own Danny Santos, a Technical Implementation Lead here at Marqeta.
It was important to us that Marqetans had a way to connect and learn about Latinx culture throughout the month. In addition, we knew we wanted to give back to the Latinx community in the Bay Area. Marqeta’s HOLA group selected CALMA, (Collective Action for Laborers, Migrants, and Asylum Seekers), as the organization to support this month and donated $5,000 to them, with Marqeta also matching any donations made by employees from now until October 15th.
We hope everyone is able to celebrate and honor Latinx/Hispanic heritage this year and recognize their diversity and achievements for our nation.