Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with four YouTubers
Sep 15, 2023 – minute read
National Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off today as a way to spotlight and celebrate the history, culture, contributions, and achievements of Hispanic people across the United States. To mark the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we spoke to four employees at YouTube about how they find community at work, what diversity means to them, and the Hispanic creators on YouTube you need to check out.
Gilbert: I’m a first generation Latino born to a Mexican father and Salvadoran mother. The richness of Hispanic culture and its influence all over the world makes me extremely proud of my family, culture, and Hispanic heritage.
Veronica: My Dad immigrated from Ecuador and my Mom’s family is from Puerto Rico. One thing that I love most about my culture is our strong sense of community. We’re very close knit with family and friends, and we always support each other through thick and thin.
Alfonso: My family is from Cali, Colombia but I was born and raised in the U.S. As a Colombian-American, I grew up speaking Spanish at home and English at school, which I am most proud of because it has shaped me into who I am today.
Romer: I was born in Venezuela and grew up speaking Spanish. I lived there until my twenties. All my family has lived in Venezuela for generations and I became the first person in my family to immigrate in many years. I am proud of the richness of Hispanic culture and how it is an important part of American culture, and how it strengthens it in many ways.
I think you find community by being open to meeting and partnering with people in diverse settings ” Romer
Gilbert: The Familia Employee Resource Group (ERG) has been a key part of my community experience at Google and YouTube. Through Familia, I’ve been able to meet Googlers who grew up in similar circumstances, faced many of the same challenges, and they keep me grounded to my comunidad.
Romer: I think you find community by being open to meeting and partnering with people in diverse settings and I try to do that when I have time. I am relatively new at Google/YouTube and so far my team, peers, the manager community in my organization, and our Familia Employee Resource Group have been important communities that have helped me learn and get to know other people.
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is being able to lift up voices from the Latinx creator community, who are doing amazing things on the platform. ” Veronica
Veronica: As a member of the YouTube communications team, my job is to work with journalists, creators and other partners to share stories about our creator community and their work. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is being able to lift up voices from the Latinx creator community, who are doing amazing things on the platform. One example includes Doña Ángela, a grandmother and cooking creator who is beloved for sharing her family recipes from her ranch in Mexico. Doña Ángela's channel is a beautiful example of the diversity and creativity of the Latinx creator community on YouTube, and I was proud to be able to help her story reach a wider audience.
Alfonso: I help drive market responsibility for Spanish Latin America by adding cultural and language context to gray areas and policy gaps. What is most rewarding to me is being able to be my full Latino self in order to help make decisions that impact millions of users.
Being Hispanic has allowed me to bring a unique perspective to the challenges my team looks to solve.” Gilbert
Gilbert: Being Hispanic has allowed me to bring a unique perspective to the challenges my team looks to solve. As an example, I helped design Google’s hiring strategy to attract Latinx talent. My perspective really helped me in providing recommendations that we could implement and make an impact.
Veronica: I believe that diversity of thought is essential for creativity and innovation, and I’m proud to be a part of a team that encourages and celebrates my Hispanic heritage. I’ve been able to find ways to incorporate my Hispanic heritage into several events and campaigns. For example, when YouTube celebrated its 15th birthday, I suggested that we host a quinceañera-themed event. This was a fun and unique way to celebrate YouTube's birthday, and it also allowed us to showcase the richness of Hispanic creator culture on YouTube.
Veronica: Diversity to me means the presence of a variety of different people, ideas, and experiences. It’s important because it allows us to learn from each other and to grow as individuals and as a society.
Alfonso: There’s a quote that says “Diversity is being invited to the dance, while inclusion is being asked to dance”.
I hope people take the time to learn about the different cultures and experiences that make up the Hispanic community.” Veronica
Gilbert: To understand the Hispanic community is to look at a colorful mosaic. The community is incredibly diverse in terms of language, traditions, and cuisine.
Veronica: The Hispanic community comes from so many different countries, different backgrounds, and different walks of life. I hope people take the time to learn about the different cultures and experiences that make up the Hispanic community.
Alfonso: I wish people understood that being Hispanic is not a race but an ethnicity.
Romer: The Hispanic community, even just in the USA, is very diverse and most of us will be surprised about how many new things you can learn by engaging with this community.
I hope people can continue to enjoy the amazing food and music that is now globalizing but also make an effort to try and understand the differences between all of the different Latin American countries.” Alfonso
Gilbert: I hope people stop and pause to better understand the challenges and impact the Hispanic community makes. The community is often a key piece of the fabric that keeps the world moving, building, cared for, and fed. Celebrating the impact of the Hispanic community would be amazing.
Veronica: This Hispanic Heritage Month, I hope people continue to support Hispanic-owned businesses. One of the best ways to support the community is to support their businesses!
Alfonso: I hope people can continue to enjoy the amazing food and music that is now globalizing but also make an effort to try and understand the differences between all of the different Latin American countries.
Romer: I hope people take the time to learn about and appreciate the rich and diverse cultures, histories, contributions, and struggles of Latino/Hispanic communities, and that this fosters greater understanding and inclusivity.
Gilbert: LA Taco without a doubt! They do fantastic street video journalism, celebrating the niche taqueros across Los Angeles while also highlighting the issues street vendors face.
Veronica: I have almost too many favorites to name, but among my favorites are Doralys Britto, Sonia Castaneda, Christen Dominique, Daisy Marquez, Manny Mua, Merrell Twins, Nailea Devora, Lele Pons, Preppy Kitchen, TheCrazyGorilla, Deestroying and Alex Costa. I feel like there’s something for everyone with this list!
Romer: VintageMusicFM because most afro-latin music from the first half of the last century rocks, Natacion (SkillsNT) because of the many hours I spent in the swimming pool, Fred Kofman because of his great coaching and content + had the opportunity to work with him, BBC Mundo due to its interesting journalism.