Hispanic Heritage Month takes place in the US annually from 15th September to 15th October as a time to recognise and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures and extensive histories of the American Latinx community. Beginning in 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month was originally observed as “Hispanic Heritage Week” under President Lyndon Johnson, but it was later extended to a month during President Ronald Reagan’s term in 1988.

Since then, the month has been celebrated nationwide through festivals, art shows, conferences, community gatherings and much more. The month also celebrates the independence days of several Latinx American countries, including: Cost Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua on 15th September, Mexico on 16th September and Chile on 18th September. They also include holidays that recognise Hispanic contributions such as Virgin Islands-Puerto Rico Friendship Day that is celebrated in the US Virgin Islands.

As PHD recognises the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history and culture of the US, the PHD US team is highlighting a few Latinx PHDers who exemplify the PHD spirit.

 

Meet Joanne Diaz, Director of Integrated Investment, PHD US

What is your role? How long have you been at PHD?

Diaz: Director of Investment, celebrating four years in December.

What is your Hispanic background?

Diaz: First generation American. Both parents are from Dominican Republic. Lived on the island three years in my early teens.

What Hispanic traditions do you incorporate in your daily life?

Diaz: Pray for safe keeping every morning, warm milk and coffee are a must (café con leche). Home-cooked meals rule! Shower my children with affection. Build emotional connections as often as I can. Listen to Bachata on the weekends and play dominoes when family and friends are over.

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you? Why is it important to have this type of month?

Diaz: It’s a time to celebrate our heritage and culture. A time to acknowledge the contribution others before us have made. A time to connect with Hispanics from diverse backgrounds.

What advice can you give other Hispanics/Latinos pursuing a career in media?

Diaz: Media is an exciting and challenging industry. Stay true to who you are and implement the work ethic you have been raised with. You must work harder and strive for excellence as a representative of your culture. There are no short cuts! First impressions count. Always operate with a degree of professionalism and you will go far.

Fun question, what is your favorite Hispanic dish?

Diaz: Onion steak, rice and beans with sweet plantains and an avocado salad. Bistec encebollado, arroz con habichuela, platanos maduros y una ensalada de aguacate.