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In this series, we put a spotlight on the people who make Khoros so great and... well, Khoros! Learn more about our talented employees — their interests, goals, dreams, and stories — and see if there’s a right fit for you to join the team.
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we’d like to amplify the voices of our employees from these communities.
Meet Dave. Dave (@jetlifeual) is a Social Media Coordinator on the Strategic Services team at Khoros, where his coworkers have this to say: “Dave is always eager to help and has been a delight to work with. We are so glad to have him on our team! ❤️”.
When asked what Hispanic Heritage Month means to him, Dave said:
"As someone who is proud of his heritage year-round, Hispanic Heritage Month gives us an opportunity to really put in the spotlight everything we have to share with the world. From the great pioneers who came to this country, to the rich history and diverse cultural groups, great music, the amazingly delicious food, as well as the breathtaking sceneries, it’s an amazing opportunity for everyone to learn more about who we are and the contributions we make to this country. And it goes without saying that this month of learning also includes others in the Hispanic community because we are always learning more about one another and all the things we bring to the table."
When asked how his Latinx identity has shaped his life experiences, he said:
"Admittedly, the first 15 - 16 years of my life were spent very disconnected from my Latin heritage. I was adopted at a very young age by parents of Costarican and Ecuadorian descent. They were immigrants to this country and provided me with every opportunity they could and probably never had. However, because our families were all abroad, I was never really in tune with my Latin roots and culture. And while I did live for some time in both Costa Rica and Ecuador at a young age, I grew up very detached from it all and very “Americanized,” if you will.
This changed as I grew older and began to better understand my roots, the wonderful things they had to offer, and subsequently met my birth mom. As the years pressed on, I became more and more engaged with my culture. I was introduced to the food, the people, the music, and the plethora of stories from both my adoptive and direct family members. I spent many years in a “tug of war” between who I was growing up and who I wanted to be in the future from a cultural standpoint. I had never “truly” identified myself as a Colombian, let alone Hispanic. I was racially ambiguous and at times felt like an outcast among my Latin friends.
That said, I finally found my voice and began to embrace the cultural history that precedes me. At this point in my life, you’d be hard-pressed to find me not jamming out to some Latin music, eating a hefty serving of a “bandeja paisa” or a classic Ecuadorian ceviche, or otherwise truly placing at the forefront my Hispanic background. I’ve learned over the years that you should always hold your head high and be proud of where you came from. Many of our parents made extreme sacrifices so that we may succeed in this country and it would be an absolute disservice to them if we turned our backs on our culture and all the hardships they had."
For more stories like Dave's follow #LifeAtKhoros, as we continue to shed light on our employees’ experiences.
Meet Michael. Michael (@oneandonlynunez) is a Social Media Coordinator on the Strategic Services team at Khoros, where his coworkers have this to say: “Michael is very intentional with his tasks, and I can tell that he is always making sure he’s putting out his best work.”
When asked what Hispanic Heritage Month means to him, Michael said:
"Hispanic Heritage Month means sharing knowledge. For the majority of my young life, I did not understand what it meant to be Hispanic. I was born to an American woman and a Mexican American man. For their reasons, unknown to me, I was not taught what it meant to be Hispanic. Culturally, I did not know what celebrations, food, or music Mexican’s listened to. I was fully immersed in American culture, and separated from what my Hispanics celebrated for generations. In my adult years, things have changed. I have been able to research who I am. I connected with my Hispanic family about who they are and where we are from. I see Hispanic Heritage Month as a way to express what I have now learned. I like to share food ideas, entertain with new music, and celebrate holidays which weren’t a part of my childhood, but are with me today. This month is about sharing and celebrating a part of my heritage with everyone willing to celebrate with me."
When asked how his Latinx identity has shaped his life experiences, he said:
"My identity within Latinx is starting to take a more prominent role in my life. However, it did not necessarily start that way.
I was the youngest born to an American woman and a Mexican American man. I was told there were many family gatherings on my Hispanic side of the family before I was born and while I was still very young. In fact, in my adolescent years I felt more like a stranger to my father’s side of the family whenever I visited them. Being around them was so different from being around the people in my neighborhood. It was odd for me to be told happy memories from my older siblings about the fiestas and spending time with our abuelos. They lived years of connectedness with that side of our family, and I didn’t get to know them for myself until I was nearly an adult. Like many families, mine started skipping a few gatherings here and there, until they stopped going completely and I was unaware what I missed out on. In essence, being born “late” I learned little of my Hispanic family heritage.
Growing up, I spent my time within a mostly White American bubble. I was constantly the darkest skin color in my neighborhood and school. This led to me often being the “token dark person” in a group, play, and school. I was the “brown boy” who others would chant the Cucaracha tune to as I went by. I did not know, nor understand for many years why others would sing that tune or why I’d be treated differently than the friends next to me. It didn’t make sense to me that I had to convince my teachers English was my first, and only, language. I didn’t understand why it was better for me to tell one of my White friends to speak with the manager of a store, I just knew conversations went easier when they spoke and I was silent.
I would become an adult when I realized what it meant to be brown in a white community. The extra hurdles I went through weren’t everyone’s story, just mine, and those who looked like me in my area. Though I did not know my Latinx culture and identity, every day and everywhere I went, people placed their limited knowledge of the Lantix culture on me. It shaped me before I knew what it was. At that point in my life, I wished I was more like the people around me, just to be accepted.
Today, I feel much different. I want to be more in my Hispanic roots. Over the years, I have connected more with my family. The passing of my abuelos helped fuel a desire to connect more with them and the pieces of them which are in my blood through learning about our culture. I feel like I am getting to learn more about myself when I learn about my heritage. I purposefully set time aside to dive into who I am and where I’m from. I now speak Spanish with my father regularly. I watch movies describing what life was like in Latin America in the past. For the longest time, I missed out on something always inside of me. Previously, my Latinx identity was shaped for me by the unknowledgeable. Yet, now I have the knowledge, and I shape myself."
For more stories like Michael's follow #LifeAtKhoros, as we continue to shed light on our employees’ experiences.