National Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off today. Each year on Sept. 15th Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM), celebrates U.S. Latinos, our rich culture, and diverse history. The history of HHM is interesting. While the official celebration began in 1968 when the US Congress enacted “Hispanic Heritage Week”, it was expanded to a month-long celebration twenty years later in 1988. The celebratory month begins in the middle of September rather than the start of the month in order to coincide with national independence days in several Latin American countries including Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. In a recent Pew research study, it was noted that “Hispanics have played a major role in driving U.S. population growth over the past decade. The U.S. population grew by 22.7 million from 2010 to 2020, and Hispanics accounted for 51% of this increase, a greater share than any other racial or ethnic group.” With over 62 million Latinos in the U.S., it is worth noting that more than 31 million are female.
At Horatio, we proudly celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month not only in mid-September but really throughout the year. Nearly all of our agents are proudly based in the Dominican Republic. Our entire team at Horatio is fully bilingual and it is part of our company culture to celebrate this fact. While our clients are based throughout North America (and also in other parts of the world), we feel that having multiple offices in the Dominican Republic is an asset to our client partners. The Dominican Republic is known worldwide for its welcoming culture and at Horatio hospitality and politeness are in all facets of what we do.
In addition to our island’s unique culture, the Dominican Republic’s economy is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America and the Caribbean [source]. COVID-19 caused the first economic recession since the early 2000s. The country has the highest level of early-stage entrepreneurship activity in its economy class, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2021/2022 report. It has more than 10 adults starting a business for every adult running a business, according to the report.
Whether it be through celebrating local holidays (such as our independence day on Feb, 27th) with costume parties or outings, we try to embrace our culture and Latin roots daily at Horatio, Karaoke, salsa and merengue lessons or baseball games are a few recent memorable excursions for our team. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage month is important for the Horatio team as it is a unique occasion to bring together different perspectives on our rich culture. Beyond this, it is uplifting and empowering to bond as a team over all the ways our culture is unique and beautiful.
Latinos are driving the economy, setting trends, and making the world a better place. It is good business to celebrate this and we hope companies worldwide recognize the force in Latin America. While this month is an important time for celebrations and opportunities to bond and have fun together, as a Latin American company, we hope the recognition of our culture worldwide extends beyond just these thirty days. If more and more businesses will take time to recognize the uniqueness of their team’s backgrounds, team members will feel empowered to be the best versions of themselves, It is important to be recognized for who you are, especially at your workplace. At Horatio, we believe it is fundamental to acknowledge and embrace the history of Latin America yet also celebrate the increasing inclusivity and diversity of our culture as we look ahead to our future.