Hispanic Heritage Month: Elda Baez
My Hispanic cultural identity
I migrated to the US with my mom and siblings at just six years old. At this point, I have lived more of my life in the US than in Mexico, however, I stay true to my roots and culture.
I embrace the language of my native country in my home and even at work with Spanish speaking colleagues! Although the US has been my home for over 20 years, I find myself listening to music that my family grew up with, reading books in Spanish and teaching my children about my childhood traditions.
One of my favorite Mexican singer/songwriters is Julieta Venegas. She sings pop-rock-indie and one of my favorite songs is ‘Me Voy’. It is a breakup song and even though I’m happily married, I can’t help but dance to it! Speaking of dancing, in Mexico, Ballet Folklorico is our most recognized type of dance. A fun future trivia fact about me is I used to perform this traditional type of dance from ages 12-20!
Another major part of my cultural identity is the food from my home country – especially desserts and treats that transport me back to my childhood and bring back memories of my heritage. Pan de Muerto is one of those nostalgic treats. When I was a girl living in Mexico, there was a bakery across the street from my home, and one of my favorite things, besides the smell of fresh bread each morning, was getting a Pan de Muerto during Day of the Dead festivities. If I’m being honest, all Mexican food is incredible. There is something about the richness of the food of my culture that I can’t describe. I love finding authentic places which offer dishes based on family recipes that were passed down through generations. Some of my favorites include pambazos, pozole, mole, pan dulce, and of course, tacos… always tacos!
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to me?
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is important to me personally because although I grew up mostly in the US, Mexico is where I recognize my roots are planted and where the spirit of my ancestors live on. I often think about the strength it took for my mother to leave her home country full of beauty and centuries old traditions behind, and now that I’m a mother, it’s important for me to instill the best parts of the culture and heritage my boys inherited as Mexican Americans.
From a professional perspective, working for a company that truly values diversity, equity and inclusion not just in word but in action as well is such a blessing. I am honored to be a part of The SR Group’s first annual Hispanic Heritage Month series and look forward to watching our series grow in the future!
Hispanic Heritage Month series
Read more interviews from our colleagues celebrating their Hispanic heritage here:
Miguel Mendez at The SR Group – Viva Ecuador
Mirna Sanchez at Frazer Jones – Viva Nicaragua
Nahomy Nunez at Brewer Morris – Viva Honduras