September 15th through October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month. Join us as we celebrate and share stories from our colleagues in the Juntos Employee Resource Group. Below, read Product Support Specialist, Raul Ruiz’s, story about how music connects him to his heritage both at home and at work.
The topic of Hispanic heritage is always a tough one for me to reflect on. I’m the first generation born here in the USA to two immigrant parents from Mexico. That gives me the honor of being Mexican American, but with that honor comes the fact that I don’t always feel I belong in either culture. Luckily, these days I’m much more confident in the amalgam that is me. It sure has been a journey, but one thing that always allowed me to feel connected to my Mexican roots has been music.
There wasn’t a day growing up that music wasn’t blasting in the house. My parents were always putting on the jams, whether they be classic songs from their hometown or Spanish covers of American oldies. Hearing that music always allowed me to feel connected to a part of myself that I wasn’t confident was even there. When I would visit my extended family back in Mexico, music gave me common ground to speak with them and I didn’t feel as disconnected.
Now this brings me to OpenSesame and when I knew this was the place to be for me. I had joined the Juntos! ERG and sure enough one of the events was tuning in to listen to some music during the workday. Never had I experienced a workplace where the music they played was the music that I listened to growing up. Yet, here I was listening to the same songs that were played at my sister’s quinceañera. It may have seemed like a small thing, but for me, it filled me with joy and optimism that this company was truly something special.
These days I’m much more confident in the fact that I walk the line between both my Mexican and American heritage. If you ever hear me speak you know any Spanish word will be spoken with my Spanish accent. Now, I actually co-lead the Juntos! ERG and my goal is to make sure it’s a space where anyone can feel welcome to be who they are and know they are seen.