Please explain what you do for living.
I've been a Salesforce Consultant with Summa in Pittsburgh since September 2015. I work with clients from around the world, assisting them with setting up, customizing, and deploying their Salesforce instances and other associated software applications to maximize business processes and efficiency. For the 5+ years prior to that, I was the director of a medical non-profit organization that provided quality improvement research, education, and charitable surgical efforts in Latin American countries.
How important in your identity is being Latino?
My mother is from Puerto Rico and obviously with my last name, my father is not. Growing up, I spent a lot of time around my mother's family and very little with my father's, so when I look in the mirror, I see a Puerto Rican man and I want others to as well. I listen to salsa, merengue, and reggaeton throughout my workday, I love cooking Puerto Rican cuisine, enjoy traveling in Latin America, and generally feel a strong bond with Latino culture.
Is there something that you particularly value of your nationality or being Latino?
I love the vibrancy of culture in all of Latin America, it says life is meant to be lived out loud and with energy. I have been able to travel and spend time in many countries in the Caribbean and Central America and the passion for friends, family, culture, national identity is something that I generally find missing in the US but I try to encompass in my own life.
Have you been treated differently because of being Latino (in the workplace, in public settings…etc.)?
Only a few times have I ever experienced anything truly overt as when in college another student called me a "greasy spic" during an intramural hockey game. For the most part, the situations I experience can be generally dismissed with humor...like someone at church saying, "Oh hey Tom, we have a new visitor at church today, he is 'Spanish,' will you go talk to him."