Great Western Bank celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15

Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month encompasses many different communities and celebrates the anniversaries of independence for Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. At Great Western Bank, we recognize and honor the many contributions and positive influences that members of the Hispanic and Latinx communities have made in America. We’re dedicated to uplifting cultural competence and cultivating an environment where inclusion, curiosity, and belonging can be fully realized.

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we invited our Great Western Bank community to a virtual panel discussion featuring five GWB employees. Our panelists– Karina Constatino, Daniel Gonzales, Bryan Guest, Lesley Deumic Yanqui, and Jeanson Mena – shared stories of their Hispanic heritage to an audience of over 100 attendees. The discussion was filled with energy, interest, and engagement – we heard stories of family customs, community celebrations, holiday traditions, culinary delicacies, and generational values.

As a GWB community, we came together to expand our cultural sphere through the transfer of individual narratives. For some attendees, this was their introduction to Día de los Muertos, to menudo and pan dulce, and to the infamous “La Chancla”.

And as stories took on individual identities, we learned the realities of generational status. For some of our panelists, they represent first generation born in the U.S. in their families. They shared their immigration stories and their struggles and successes of learning a new language. And the panelists representing second and third generation status reflected on not knowing the Spanish language well, or not knowing it at all.

In the end, it comes back to civility and kindness. One panelist shared a favorite professional moment of being able to communicate with a customer in Spanish. The gratitude expressed by the customer was so meaningful that it has remained with this employee. Another panelist shared of arriving in the United States with limited resources, and had it not been for the outreach of others, he wouldn’t have received gifts on Christmas. Today, he gives his time and resources to ensure other children don’t have to go without.

As we consider the richness that makes each of us different, we mustn’t forget there is so much that connects us in shared and meaningful ways. We respectfully honor Hispanic Heritage Month and the customers and employees that carry the culture.

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