Somos Enel: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Together
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated nationwide between September 15 to October 15 and coincides with the national independence days of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The month traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans across the country.
It is a period meant for recognition, education and celebration. At Enel, we are taking this time to deepen our understanding of the diversity among the Hispanic and Latino communities.
Hear from some Enel North America employees with heritage ties to countries like Chile, Colombia, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, who shared what the month means to them, the importance of language in culture and community, and diversity at work and in the clean energy sector.
Celebrating Heritage in a Rich Culture
Being Hispanic and/or Latino means something different for everyone. Hispanic and Latino communities are filled with diverse experiences, creating rich cultural variations and perspectives. For Humberto D’Costa, Contract Administrator, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month means taking “time to commemorate, celebrate and be proud of our ancestors.” And for Carlos Salazar, Contract Manager, the month “celebrates how the Latino community works hard and is dedicated to the things we do in a happy, loud and colorful way.”
Created to recognize the positive impact that Hispanic Americans have left on the country, Hispanic Heritage Month is about remembering and teaching. Nicolas Galleguillos, Optimization Engineer, reflected that the month “celebrates our identities as Latinos and is a time to remember our traditions. My family is in Chile, but I still celebrate our independence day by eating parrilladas, empanadas, pebre, and if I can find it, a choripan.” Vincent de la Portilla, Senior IT Recruiter, agreed that food keeps him most connected to his Cuban and Puerto Rican heritages.
Language, Culture and Community
During Hispanic Heritage month, we recognize the impact of language, culture and community on every aspect of American life. According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. Hispanic population is 62.1 million as of 2020, making people of Hispanic origin one of the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minorities.
For Andrea Ortega, Environmental Permitting Specialist, “the Latino communities are drivers and leaders who are always willing to strive for what they do. We seek success and love to work in teams for a common goal.” And for Gilda Gutierrez, Procurement Operations Specialist, what connects her most to her Hispanic and Latino heritage is “the language and the support we give to each other.”
Hispanic and Latino Allyship
As an ally to the Hispanic and Latino community, Edi McGee, Onboarding Intern, shared that her relationship with the community comes from her connection to the common language and those she considers her chosen family. Saying, “my family has been in the U.S. for many generations. However, a lot of my chosen family are from Ecuador, Argentina, and Peru. For me, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of people descended from the Spanish-speaking world. My chosen family connects me to Hispanic cultures and language.”
When asked how Enel and its people show up to support her heritage and how others can support the Hispanic and Latino community, she continued, “Enel has shown a commitment to diversity and inclusion through its employee resource groups (ERGs), which has been a valuable way to find community in a remote company. To support colleagues, I believe the easiest, most accessible way to initially show support is just by showing up. With Hispanic/LatinX community work, going to an ERG meeting is a great way to start.”
Hispanic and Latino scientists, engineers and professionals dedicated to addressing climate change will shape our future. At Enel North America, we are focused on creating a sustainable tomorrow. The challenge is personal, but we’ll solve it together — ¡Somos Enel!
Even in the face of doubts, as Nicolas points out, “the Latino community should share our knowledge, and let them see the opportunities the clean energy transition brings — the benefits are not just for us at this point in time but also for future generations.”
For Gilda, it is also about her community at work. “The way Enel shows support to my heritage is by including me and other Latinos as part of the global transition to clean energy. I think those in the Latino community are transitioning to clean energy, rapidly. We know how beneficial it is for our planet and all the people in the world.”
Echoing her colleagues, Edi adds, “Enel is located all over the world, including in South America, where there is a growing economy and dedication to more renewable energy sources.”
In keeping with the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month, Enel is committed to supporting our peers and employees by celebrating the diversity in our community. We encourage everyone to take this month to learn about the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanics and Latinos in the energy sector and beyond.