Celebrating Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month at Remix

Remix

Remixers at a virtual guacamole making workshop, one of the many organized events for Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month.

From September 15th to October 15th, Remix took the opportunity to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (aka Latinx Month), a time to reflect and express gratitude for the gifts that Hispanic/Latinx cultures have contributed to our society. The celebrations kickoff with Independence Day celebrations across Central and South America, and typically close out on November 2nd with Día de Los Muertos. Celebratory events at Remix included a workshop led by Mexican-American author and health educator Nancy Villaseñor called “Practical Steps to Experience the Power of Forgiveness” with the goal of providing approachable applications of forgiving yourself and those around you,  a “Guac-Off Workshop”, an ode to the essential avocado and its uses in traditional Latinx dishes, and “Catrina (Sugar Skull) Makeup Tutorial” to educate on Dia De Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), a Latin American holiday that commemorates departed loved ones with joyous celebration on the evening that the dead are supposed to reunite with the living, a distinctive departure from more somber commemorative rituals of other cultures. The Latinx impact has permeated so many different aspects of American life, and we celebrate contributions to the arts, cuisine, politics, and business.

Latinx Remixers also offered their perspectives on what it means to be Latinx in Tech and how their cultural upbringing shaped their values: 

What has been your experience being Latinx in Tech:


I am relatively new in the tech scene but so far I have felt that being Latinx means you are part of a community of people who want to support you. It’s quite scary entering a world where your background and culture are so different than that of your coworkers. It can feel isolating and imposter feelings creep up at every corner. However, as a Latina, I have often experienced that as soon as you enter a space with another Latinx person, there is a high chance you will become a source of support for each other. — Joycelin “Joyce” Orellana, Software Engineer from Palmdale, CA


I’ve been working in Latin countries throughout all my professional life so it was a pretty homogeneous context as most of my colleagues were of Latin descent. In some of these countries they do not even consider me as Latino because of my skin color and because I am originally European. I’ve never felt myself as part of a minority group. However, it was not until I started working at Remix that I realized about the importance of minorities in tech and in the corporate world, and the need of giving voice to these minorities through communities, events and so on. I must say that I am so happy and I feel very proud of working at Remix, as I saw from the first moment that every single employee’s culture is respected and the company actively promotes diversity. — David Cañabate, Account Executive from Barcelona, Spain


For most of my career, I’ve been the only Latina on my team or at my company — that generally hasn’t changed in my experience from government to consulting to tech. I have found that the community I grew up in is significantly more homogenous when it comes to Latinx experiences than life at Remix. I found it incredibly fascinating that most of my Latinx coworkers at Remix grew up in other countries and how diverse those experiences are. Growing up brown in America means that you’re often seen as the “other”, the “minority”, and that can often be a negative connotation. Through these realizations, I still feel my experience as a Latina in Tech has been about fighting for a seat at the table, while reaching back to pull up the other Latinx coming up new to tech. I’ve been grateful for the community we have been able to create to foster support across teams at Remix. — Claudia Preciado, Director of Growth from El Monte, California 


How has your cultural upbringing shaped your values?

I was raised to work hard and to show initiative. I started working for my parents little by little when I was around 7 at their party supply business. I worked just about every weekend and summer of my life from the ages of roughly 7 to 16. I hated it. I always wished I could go hang out with friends or have a lazy weekend in pajamas watching cartoons. Instead, every Friday I would be handed a list of addresses which I would enter into MapPoint to find optimal driving routes. Then on Saturday and Sunday I would spend most of the day in the business helping load chairs and tables into people’s cars. In the evenings, we would go pick up rentals from customer’s houses. I can’t say that I am glad I had to do that but I know it made me a hard worker. I was taught to show initiative and constantly think about how I can help others (e.g. “Does it look like my brother needs help with the table he is carrying out? Does the customer need me to bring their piñata to their car? Should I clean the chairs so my mom has time to eat?”). Considering that my parents came to the U.S. from Guatemala and El Salvador with nothing but the clothing on their backs, I can see the direct impact that my family’s labor has made on my life. After all these years, I still find myself valuing good work ethic. It is something I intentionally try to bring into my work space and a trait I admire in others. —Joycelin “Joyce” Orellana


I personally place hustle and commitment as my top two values, both of which I attribute to being raised by my immigrant parents. When my parents first came to this country, they came over only with siblings, didn’t speak English, and were thrust into the American high school education system. They worked extremely hard to learn the language, graduate high school, and start their careers. Both found success by putting in many, many hours over the course of decades. I witnessed that first hand, and felt that infused my desire to work hard and hustle to achieve my own dreams. I also interpret the word commitment to being true to your word. When you do not have a lot of resources, often you can at least follow through on your stated commitments. — Claudia Preciado 


What aspects of your identity do you feel show up most in your daily life?

An aspect of my identity that comes to mind is my constant tango with my mental health. Mental health isn’t usually talked about in communities of color so it takes an extra amount of effort to heal from the traumas of life. I’m very conscious about how I am doing and put a good deal of energy into making sure I am giving myself sufficient self-care. This also means thinking about others and trying to be a source of support for them too. I think my own struggle with mental health is a reason I have such a wild sense of humor. It gives me a break from taking the world so seriously and my hope is that I can take someone else out of their reality for a moment too. —Joycelin “Joyce” Orellana
Dancing! Dancing is something that is not as popular in Spain as it is in other Latin-American countries, but I have incorporated it (or tried at least) in my daily life since I came to live in Colombia. — David Cañabate, Account Executive from Barcelona, Spain
My food, music, and entertainment choices certainly reflect my Mexican heritage deeply — and show up daily.  Beyond these elements of culture, I try to champion causes and share news that reflect the stories of Latinx communities and immigrant stories. Right now, I’m most committed to voting for elected officials that support civil rights, immigration, and diversity. -- Claudia Preciado

Here at Remix, we know that you cannot build a resilient and effective team without diversity. That is why we want to extend a special thank you to Remixers Claudia Preciado, Joycelin Orellana, David Cañabate, Linda Campos Allen, and Gories Kwong for lending their stories, leading the celebration, and reminding us all that it is everyone’s responsibility to amplify diverse voices and empower communities of color. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Remix workplace culture, learn more at remix.com/careers. We are currently hiring!