To understand the Latino community is to understand that it is vastly diverse within itself. Each individual Latino culture is established within the country people are from, and cultures are kept and celebrated within each respective community while residing in the U.S.

Although many members of the Latino community speak Spanish, words mean different things based on their cultural origin and the individual education of each person. Acknowledging this diversity within the Latino community helps families feel welcomed and demonstrates inclusivity of all Latino cultures.

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Little girl playing with toyFor young children, it’s important to show and appreciate the differences within each Latino community. Highlighting cultures by showcasing native attire, delicacies, country flags, differences in written language and general images of each culture help to create a shared understanding of what being a Latino means. This also helps Latino children create an identity and a sense of pride to be a Latino.

Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity for Latino children to understand the history of their family and their community. When speaking with a family in the native tongue, it creates a bond within the family unit that will help the child as they get older and learn to speak additional languages.

“Attire From Around the World” is an activity we like to do with the children and families we work with. Each child dresses up in an outfit that represents their nationality. Some students have worn Charo attire and folkloric dresses. Others braid their hair in a distinctive style or bring flags from their country to proudly display. We all love it when parents bring in food unique to their home country because it is a chance for all of us to sample special dishes and celebrate that culture! Children also love to take part in making pinatas – which are all created differently depending on what country they’re from

Children's Books to Read During Hispanic Heritage Month

Whether your child is a toddler, in pre-K or headed to kindergarten, here are books to read aloud with your little one to celebrate and learn about the Latino culture.

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In these tumultuous times, the need for greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is in the news almost every day. One of the best ways to raise tolerant, accepting and empathetic children ready to thrive in life is to start early, incorporating inclusion and anti-bias into early childhood education curriculum for infants, toddlers and their families.

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Danielle Jordan, a school director of Educare Chicago, recently shared the early childhood school’s DEI best practices, starting with the fundamentals.

Teachers at Educare Chicago incorporate songs, storytelling and books into the curriculum. Some of her favorites include:

DEI books for children

This approach to developing a child’s sense of confidence in their personal and social identities (e.g., gender, ethnic and religious) aligns with the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) anti-bias education. As a result, children feel grounded in who they are without a need to be superior to anyone else. The approach also emphasizes a teacher’s capacity to help a child recognize how they are simultaneously different and similar to others, which helps children foster an ability to comfortably and empathetically engage with people from all backgrounds.

We encourage students to share what is distinct about their families, how they celebrate special occasions and what is important to them.

Danielle Jordan, School Director, Educare Chicago
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Educare Chicago student holding diversity collage In a recent activity, children recently made posters showcasing their cultural heritage, as well as their similarities and differences. “The students were able to share and be proud of what makes them unique… your hair may be in ponytails, while my hair is in locks. The simple rule is we would like to treat people fairly and acknowledge that we are different but we’re also the same and need to show each other respect,” Jordan continues.

This focus on respect and appreciation for inclusion is particularly important during this time of racial unrest. “The way that we address the societal environment is by talking about community, family, culture and heritage,” says Jordan.

To help talk about these topics, staff at Educare Chicago have incorporated Sesame Street’s “We’re Different, We’re the Same” segment into their curriculum, as well as the book “Sometimes People March” by Tessa Allen.

We are doing exactly what our name says… We are starting early and building foundations that I hope will give the students what they need to go on.

Danielle Jordan, School Director, Educare Chicago
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Educare Chicago teachers also help students learn how to process big emotions such as sadness and anger, while emphasizing that people express feelings in a variety of ways to encourage an appreciation for personality differences. The school’s Wellness Specialists also connect with parents to let them know where their children are from a socioemotional perspective and offer guidance for development.

Intensive family engagement is a core tenet of the school’s approach, meaning the school’s inclusive curriculum also extends to children’s first teachers: their parents and caregivers. Staff provide parents with book recommendations, including those outlined above to help encourage at-home discussions about DEI. There are also parent support groups and a Parent Committee to help parents to build strong relationships with staff and one another.

Jordan has already seen the impact of their work. Recently, students celebrated a very shy classmate for stepping outside his comfort zone to give a presentation to the entire school about his pet snake.

Learn more about how to address race and identity with children by reading our National Racial Day of Healing blog post.

Juneteenth is recognized as a day to honor African American history, culture, and achievements, and it serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and justice.

Celebrating Juneteenth is one way Start Early demonstrates our commitment to co-creating an organizational culture of inclusion where the presence, voices and ideas of staff and the communities we serve are represented, heard, valued, and acted upon.

For over 40 years, Start Early has been singularly focused on the healthy development of young children, from before birth until kindergarten, helping close the opportunity gap and ensure children are ready to learn.

We are uncompromising in our pursuit of excellence and remain steadfast in our commitment to dismantling the unjust practices and policies that are harmful to children and families of color. Our work would not be possible without recognizing that each child and family has been uniquely impacted and traumatized by racism and generations of long-tolerated inequities.

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Reading books and watching videos are a couple of fun and easy ways to help introduce children to new cultures, experiences and events in history. It is important for children not only to see themselves, but others represented in the stories we read to them. When parents promote values of acceptance, children will take pride in their identity and love the unique parts of themselves that they contribute to the world.

Resources to Help Celebrate and Honor Juneteenth

Here are age-appropriate book recommendations and a celebratory Juneteenth song to share with your little one:



  • Fyütch and the Alphabet Rockers created Juneteenth Song for Kids, a song about what Juneteenth is and why we celebrate Black freedom and liberation.

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June is Pride month, a time to celebrate LGBTQIA+ communities and reflect. Pride month exists to foster a sense of community, appreciate differences, and cultivate diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging for queer folx around the world.

Pride month is so important to us here at Start Early. We are committed to cultivating an environment built on the values of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Participating in Pride month is one way Start Early demonstrates a commitment to co-creating an organizational culture of inclusion where the presence, voices and ideas of staff and the communities we serve are represented, heard, valued, and acted upon.

Our work, focused on providing a bright and equitable future for all children, would not be possible without recognizing that LGBTQIA+ children, families and communities have been uniquely impacted and traumatized by hate and long-tolerated inequities.

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Caring parents want to protect their children from harm, which can make it difficult to know how to teach children about the history and create awareness about events like Pride. With many neighborhoods and communities showing their support for Pride in June, it’s only natural for children to get curious and start asking questions.

Child development experts agree parents should keep explanations simple and honest. It is also important to be positive and affirming. When adults listen to children without judgment, and meet children where they are at, it creates a foundation for open communication. When parents promote values of acceptance, children will grow proud of their identity and appreciate diversity.

Resources to Help Celebrate Pride Month with Your Children

Pride month is an important opportunity to teach children about what it means to be a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, share the history behind the month-long celebration, and to have some fun together as a family. Here are activities and resources that can be helpful when teaching your little one about Pride:




Additional Resources:

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At Start Early, we are committed to cultivating an environment built on the values of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. The opening remarks were provided by Chandra Ewell, DEIB team lead.

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the achievements, culture and legacy of Black Americans who have made contributions and played a critical role in shaping our country. We take the month of February to center Black voices and honor Black stories as we lift up the past, recognize the present and share hopes for the future.

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It’s never too early to start sharing positive reflections by sharing diverse stories with your children. It is important for children not only to see themselves, but others represented in the books we read to them. Reading books with your little one is a fun and easy way to help introduce them to new cultures, experiences and events in history.

Literature transforms the human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection, we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation.

"Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors" by Rudine Sims Bishop
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Children's Books To Read During Black History Month

Whether your child is a toddler, in pre-K or on their way to kindergarten, here are some great book recommendations from Anne-Marie Akin, our Educare Chicago librarian to read during this month and beyond:

Books recommended for infants:

Books recommended for toddlers:

Books recommended for children in pre-K or kindergarten:

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Last month I had the pleasure of co-leading a session at the BUILD 2022 Virtual Conference: Building Systems, Improving Quality, Advancing Equity.

It was a joy to participate en una charla informal, a coffee talk, with my good friend, and colleague Miriam Calderon. We discussed and unpacked the strength and determination required to lift ourselves, our families, and our communities up in the unforgiving world of policy and politics.

BUILD has been a leader in providing spaces and opportunities for Latine professionals and leaders in the early childhood space to come together both informally and formally to talk and hear about what the Latine community wants and needs.

The Latine community is strong. We know that across this country it is Latinos and Latinas who pick, cook and serve our food, clean our houses and hotel rooms, care for our children, elderly and sick and are part of the backbone of the economy in countless ways.

As I joined with other Latine leaders throughout the week at BUILD and listened to their stories, I was stuck that today in 2022, many still talked about “imposter syndrome”, including me. I have had the privilege and opportunity to sit at many tables at the local, state, and national level but I am sure when I opened my mouth to share a recommendation or idea, there was some eye rolling in the room.

At Start Early, we share a commitment to racial equity and have been working diligently to provide individual staff with the support they need and want to grow and contribute to the early childhood field. For my part, I will be leading and providing a space for Latine individuals to participate in a mentoring circle where we will take time to understand our history as a community in the United States, our personal journeys and culture and how systems impact our progress as individuals and a community.

A common theme we explored was that we need mentorship – ongoing mentorship from people that look like us and understand our culture and values. As I have been reflecting on my own journey, it’s clear that each of has a responsibility to support and mentor the next generation of Latine leaders.

My hope is that through mentorship and in our daily work to change systems, Latine professionals and leaders will sit at any table and confidently speak their truth, represent the needs of their children and communities, despite the eye rolls.

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As requested by the Legislature, Washington state’s Home Visiting Advisory Committee — consisting of home visiting providers, advocates, state agency partners and other allied professionals — recently outlined an ambitious path to strengthen the state’s home visiting system. Submitted to the Washington state Legislature and the Department of Children, Youth and Families, this plan makes essential recommendations to improve equity in the home visiting system, ensure a skilled and sustainable workforce and expand home visiting access to additional families.

Many of the recommendations identify strategies that are within the Department of Children, Youth and Families’ administrative power to implement while others will require additional investment from the Legislature.

Recommendation Highlights

A comprehensive overview of the recommendations is available on the Department of Children, Youth and Families website. In summary, the recommendations focus on the following areas of improvement:

Promote Equity: Washington must support a range of home visiting programs that meet the needs of diverse communities; ensure parent, community and provider voice is embedded in decision-making; and recruit and retain a workforce representative of families served.

Strengthen the Workforce: Home visitors have continued to provide essential supports to families, yet the workforce is under tremendous stress with higher than usual attrition in the past two years. The recommendations include investing in wages – including addressing racial and positional wage disparities; increasing access to professional development; and assessing home visitor caseloads and administrative burden.

Systems Improvements: To create a stable, sustainable and scalable home visiting system, the recommendations include completing a cost study to inform contracting to better reflect the true cost of the service; funding adjustments that promote equity; and streamlined data strategies.

Start Early Washington supports the recommendations submitted by the Home Visiting Advisory Committee. We are committed to working with our public and private sector partners to create comprehensive implementation plans with a strategic direction to build an equitable home visiting system that supports children and families in Washington state.


Excited to Learn More?

Check out our work in Washington state and stay connected; we’d love to grow our engagement with you.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re commemorating women’s vital impact and accomplishments on society.

Our Start Early staff members: Keneischia Jones, health coordinator, Early Head Start Network; Rio Romero-Jurado, policy manager, National Policy and Kayla Goldfarb, policy specialist, Illinois Policy shared how their womanhood has influenced their career journey, the crucial importance of pay equity in early childhood and the need for inclusion and continued progress for all women.

How has being a woman influenced your identity?

Keneischia Jones: Being a woman of color is my daily makeup. I get to wake up and change my hair and wear my afro today because that’s what I’m feeling. I’ve become the young Black woman that I wanted to be when I was younger and I wasn’t able to present like this. Now as a woman I have my bearings and I can show the world who I am at all times.

Rio Romero-Jurado: My identity in being a woman and a woman of color in particular has really shaped my values, social conscience and the kind of person I want to be and what I want to contribute to the world. I came to social work, policy and advocacy because I was naturally drawn to eliminating inequities in our society and empowering other women through social change and action.

That’s part of why I love what I do. Even in elementary school I really loved social studies. I recognized pretty early on that there was an underrepresentation, we all know, of women and people of color at our highest levels of government. I think that’s really further motivated me to embrace my identity as a woman and to be part of an organization to help ensure that women and the issues that matter to them and their families are prioritized in our society and in policy.

Kayla Goldfarb: There are so many things that have been shared that really resonated with me and are really energizing. Being a woman has influenced my identity in that I don’t feel limited in any way. But I also recognize how much of a privilege that is when you look at women globally and locally because that is not always the case. I’ve begun to understand the breadth of how people experience being a woman from a race, class, location and lived experience perspective. It’s been mind opening.

Are there any misconceptions about women that you want to address?

Keneischia Jones: We are not too emotional to make important decisions. We are not led with emotions we have the capacity to be emotionally aware and emotionally intelligent and logical at the same time. I also want to stress as a Black woman that we are not angry. We can clearly speak our problems but we are not a threat and we’re not angry all the time. We’re just passionate and loving people.

Rio Romero-Jurado: There is a balance between recognizing that there have been strides made in gender equality and at the same time acknowledging the continued work that is needed to achieve true equitable progress. We now have a woman of color as our Vice President which is fantastic. But we’re still so behind in many ways and that is a misconception of thinking that we’ve reached a certain milestone, which we have, but we’ve got to keep making more progress. There’s so much more to be done.

Kayla Goldfarb: I really agree with Rio I think there’s certainly a danger in complacency and being like yeah we won. There’s so many domains in which women don’t have equal footing and I think it’s important to take time during Women’s History Month to look at spaces where women’s accomplishments have been relegated to the back and not acknowledged or fully covered up and taken as someone else’s.

I can think of science domains where women’s discoveries were rebranded as men’s. Hedy Lamarr for example was a movie star in the 1930s and 40s but was also the inventor of frequency hopping and her inventions were taken and the credit was given to men. I think in very present ways that still happens a lot and translates to things like pay and career advancement and the fact that women don’t get the automatic recognition that maybe men do.

In terms of misconceptions, I think one is that caring about women’s rights is in any way exclusionary to people who weren’t born women but identify as women. Trans exclusionary embodiments of feminism are not good for women. The misconception that there is in any way a threat to women’s progress by upholding and defending the rights of those who identify as women but who might not have been born identifying that way. So there’s clearly a long way to go.

But it’s nice to take time during Women’s History Month to think about how these things show up historically and in our day-to-day lives.

Be sure to follow our blog to stay up-to-date on the latest announcements and learn about our ongoing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) work.

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Each year, we celebrate Black History Month to recognize the contributions and influence of African Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the United States.

Our Start Early staff members: Erice Evans, senior financial analyst; Stuart Lassiter, early childhood practice consultant; Kristie Norwood, education manager for the Early Head Start and Head Start Network of Illinois shared how their heritage has shaped their identity and impacted their work, how they maintain their culture and why it’s important to recognize Black History Month.

How do you feel that your African American heritage has influenced your identity and what do you appreciate most about being Black?

Kristie Norwood: What I appreciate most about being Black is being Black. It is a heritage and legacy of strength and strong traditions of faith and family. I love that feeling of coming into a room and even if there’s only one other Black person there is an immediate connection of knowing each other.

Erice Evans: We come from a very rich background and history that I appreciate as I’m older now that I didn’t really know to appreciate growing up. I love the melanin and the different colors, characteristics, traits and everything that makes us a beautiful people from the outside to the inside. My [African American] heritage has made me who I am today.

Stuart Lassiter: Being Black is my identity and it’s how I’m recognized by others and also how I recognize myself. My family has always stressed what it means to be a Black male. The idea that I heard from my great grandfather, grandfather and uncles of being the best you can be because you have to work from a place of excellence to be seen as being good.

One thing I truly appreciate is our strength, perseverance and striving to always overcome. It’s amazing that we’ve come so far and still have so far to go.

Erice Evans: I love that you mention strength because it is part of our heritage. We were taught the skills to overcome anything. If you get knocked down get back up and keep fighting. We don’t stay down.

Are there any misconceptions about Black culture that you want to dispel?

Erice Evans: For many years it seems that we as Black people have always been portrayed in a negative view. It’s never about the accomplishments that we have made or all the good that we have done, our creativity, the things we do in and for our community.

When you see us on the news it’s always something negative and we became a people to be feared and wrongly so. We’re not all the same although we’re viewed that way. In every person there is good, bad and also great and we deserve to be recognized for that.

Stuart Lassiter: One of the misconceptions is that I’m a Black male so I must be dangerous. The narrative in the media is that Black people are dangerous. If you look at the 10 p.m. news there is always a story about a shooting or a drug raid. I’m not diminishing it those things do happen.

But there is an overwhelming percentage of people in Black communities who are law abiding, go to work and want to provide for their children. But that is not the narrative being shared.

Kristie Norwood: I think people have misconceptions about Black people and Black culture for various reasons. I don’t feel like I’m here to discount anybody’s misconceptions. I think there is enough evidence out there to give people a complete picture of the Black experience in this world, not just in this country.

If there is one thing I want to stress is that Black people are not a monolith we are not all the same. We have joys, triumphs and sorrows like any other people and we each have different opinions. I’m sad that as Black people we don’t always get the luxury in being taken as individuals.

Why is music so foundational to Black culture?

Kristie Norwood: Music is so important because it is a communication vehicle that goes past your ears and right into your soul. It provides strength, encouragement, celebration and joy. During the Civil Rights movement they sang songs to keep each other encouraged, remind themselves of what the goal was and keep fear down. When I think about some of the times in my life music has been the vehicle that really helped me stay in it long enough to get from point A to Point B.

Erice Evans: Music is a part of who we are. Music is how we coped and it’s the soundtrack of our lives. Church is a big thing in our culture and you would hear your grandparents or parents sing old gospel hymns around the house to lift them up during times of challenge or sorrow.

We are a very passionate people and music is how we express ourselves. Music is how we brought who we are to life and to the world.

Stuart Lassiter: Music is hope and joy. Go back historically and it was communication and freedom. Slaves sang songs in code to communicate where you should go, when you should leave and when you should stop if danger was around. Music was survival and freedom.

The contributions to all forms of music. The richness and experience of life that’s being shared when Black people share their music. Music spans the gambit of life from birth and being children to teenage and adult years. Blues, jazz, country, pop, hip hop and gospel. Black people have given such a worthy contribution to the world of music.

This year’s Black History Month theme is health and wellness. Why is it important for African Americans to prioritize health and wellness?

Erice Evans: The pandemic highlighted what we already knew. We were most affected when the pandemic hit because we don’t all have access to quality health care and that’s been across generations. We suffered a lot throughout COVID-19, we’ve been suffering, but the pandemic brought it to light so the world knows it too. It couldn’t be hidden anymore.

It’s time to address those deficiencies so that we can get the quality healthcare, education and opportunities – the jobs, pay and benefits – we deserve to help our communities.

We have to care about our physical, mental and emotional health and teach our children that from birth to age five to teenagers to adulthood. We didn’t have access to mental health care and within our community it was taboo to say I need a therapist. We’re used to being strong, but that strength doesn’t mean we have to carry the whole burden.

Stuart Lassiter: The mortality rates of Black people are among the highest in so many health categories: cancer, diabetes and infant mortality.

There are barriers to access to healthy food, healthcare and quality education so you can attain greater opportunities through your job to care and mental health. It’s all packaged together. If there’s something that’s deficient in your health and wellbeing it impacts other aspects of your health.

Erice Evans: We should be able to have it all. There are other communities that have it all and we shouldn’t have to pay astronomically to get it. Some communities if you want your child to have a good education you have to pay for it. That shouldn’t be the case.

Start Early is committed to quality education for children ages zero to five. Quality education should be available for all children. Like Stuart said if you’re deficient in one thing you’re deficient in it all and I think that’s one thing we have to address in our culture.

Kristie Norwood: We have to make our health and wellness a priority because if we don’t historically it’s been proven that nobody else will.

We can’t build a sick legacy. Our men and women are dying because of heart disease, cancers related to diet and stress and mental health issues leaving families behind. We need to be well so we can experience joy, exuberance, abundance and brilliance so we can keep giving that to our children.

So my hope is that health and wellness and particularly mental health becomes a legacy for us in the same way that our other traditions of church, food and celebrations.

Be sure to follow our blog to stay up-to-date on the latest announcements and learn about our ongoing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) work.

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Hispanic Heritage Month collage

Each year, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the United States.

Our staff members shared how their heritage has shaped their identity and impacted their work, how they maintain their culture and why it’s important to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month.

Can you introduce yourself and share what you do here at Start Early and how your Hispanic heritage influenced your identity?

Nilda Barrett: I’m a financial manager supporting 15 divisions and have been at Start Early for almost two years. I’m Puerto Rican, born and raised in Chicago and I’m the second youngest of seven children. My parents came to the States when they were very young and met here in Chicago. They taught me and my siblings the importance of education and working hard to get the things you need. We lived in mainly Hispanic neighborhoods, so I grew up around Cubans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans and was exposed to a little bit of everything and got to see how hard people worked. The person I am today, my ambition, everything is inspired by my upbringing and due to my culture.

Yáyá Cardenas Torres: I’m a training institute coordinator for the Professional Learning Network and I’ve been with Start Early for 14 years. I’m Mexican American born and raised in Indiana and I’m a proud Hoosier. My mother was born and raised in Texas and my father was born and raised in Michoacán, Mexico. I am the only girl out of five brothers.

With my mother being Tex-Mex and my dad being Mexican, I had two cultures: One uses cheddar and one uses Chihuahua, but together they are perfect on a burrito. My culture has made me who I am. My upbringing, my loyalty, my faith, my passion… it is who I am and I apply it to my professional and personal life.

Alexis Aguilú Hernandez: I’m the assistant director of operations for the Educare Learning Network and have been at Start Early for 14 years as well. I’m one of two and was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I left the island at the age of 20 to attend Marquette University in Wisconsin and stayed here. I have a ton of family in the Midwest.

Puerto Rican is who I am. I live my life as a Puerto Rican and I love my Puerto Rican heritage. I get chills every time that I go home. On the flight home, I always plan to sit by the window so I can see the whole island as we descend. It’s who I am, it’s family and how I grew up. Seeing the flag, it’s who I am and I like to share that with others who may not understand what being Puerto Rican and Latinx is.

How has your Hispanic heritage impacted your daily work to advance our mission and better serve children and families? 

Alexis Aguilú Hernandez: I always say that my Hispanic background is not only what identifies me, but what defines me. Being a Hispanic immigrant allows me to better understand the challenges that many of our Hispanic children and families go through and focuses my commitment to do everything I can to help them close that opportunity gap once and for all.

I have been able to use Spanish several times in my role at Start Early. We started sending out text messages to families and I would translate them into Spanish. Most recently, at the Educare Learning Network, I helped review our network requirements and Child Tax Credit communications in Spanish. Knowing languages opens your mind to the world.

Yáyá Cardenas Torres: Being Mexican American and bilingual provides me with cultural sensitivity and enables me to better serve our Spanish-speaking clients. My parents also taught me to have a solid work ethic, ambition and commitment which I use in my daily work.

What do you appreciate most about your Hispanic culture? 

This month really helps people recognize the complexities, histories and richness of the different Hispanic cultures. It’s very important to celebrate Hispanic heritage.

Nilda Barrett
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How do you preserve your Hispanic culture?

Yáyá Cardenas Torres: I try to preserve our culture with food. Any gathering we host, I’ll cook Mexican dishes. My dad and I both have gardens and I love to make homemade salsa using everything from jalapeños to habaneros and Anaheim chili peppers and share it with everyone. I feel very close to my mom when I make salsa because I remember growing up she would make it and give it away to our neighbors. I also share my culture with my son and foster kids: we celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and Día de los Niños (Day of the Children). I try to incorporate it everywhere I can.

Nilda Barrett: Similar to Yáyá, we are very family oriented. We took a trip to Puerto Rico in 2018 and are looking to go again next year. Everything from la música — salsa, merengue, reggaeton, bachata — to la comida. My mom will come over and make pastelitos (a Puerto Rican pastry filled with guava and cheese) and my four kids love them. I also instill in my kids the importance of learning Spanish because being bilingual is such an asset. 

How would you describe the diversity within your family?

Are there any misconceptions about Hispanic culture that you want to dispel?

Why is it important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and recognize the impact Hispanic people have had within the U.S.?

Nilda Barrett: Hispanic culture has contributed so much to the development of the United States over the years and it just keeps growing. This month really helps people recognize the complexities, histories and richness of the different Hispanic cultures. It’s very important to celebrate Hispanic heritage.

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