Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope featuring Jonathan Suarez, CPA
Wiss employees Eddy Alay, Omar Francisco Pérez, Jonathan Suarez and Isaiah Torres share their stories in light of Hispanic Heritage Month, a period that formally celebrates the immeasurable contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans to US economy, culture and society.
The theme of this year’s Hispanic History month is Esperanza (Hope). What are you most hopeful of in terms of Hispanic and Latinx representation in the workforce, today and in the future?
Jonathan: There are “stereotypes” regarding the jobs that Hispanics hold. And that’s fine because statistically speaking it may be true, however, there’s also a negative connotation associated with some of these jobs (for example, landscaping, maids, construction, maintenance). My hope would be that we outgrow this negative connotation.
Could you tell us a little bit about your background?
Jonathan: I was born in Otavalo, Ecuador. I came to the United States when I was 8 years old but continue to visit at least once a year. My father was an accountant in Ecuador and he continued that profession here, which is what led me to pursue this career.
How has your Hispanic or Latinx heritage shaped who you are as a person?
Jonathan: So many aspects of my life, both big and small, are a combination of two worlds. From the music I listen to, the sports I watch, the languages I speak, the things I value, the hobbies I have, the food I eat. My heritage has allowed me to see the world in a different light.
Is there something about the Hispanic or Latinx community that isn’t appreciated enough or known about?
Jonathan: The indigenous background isn’t known about or appreciated enough. Neither is just how diverse Hispanic culture is from country to country.”
A dish everyone must try?
Jonathan: In my region the traditional dish is called Carne Colorada. Carne Colorada translates as “reddish meat,” which comes from the orangish red color that the meat absorbs from the spices. The exact side dishes will vary slightly, but some of the most popular options include fried plantains, boiled mote/hominy corn, llapingachos/potato patties, avocado slices, yuca/cassava, boiled potatoes with cheese sauce, empanadas, salad, curtido sauce, tostado corn nuts, among others.
A killer cocktail?
Jonathan: In Ecuador, there’s a drink called ‘Canelazo.’ It’s a hot beverage typically consumed in the cold weather. It’s made with fruit juice, Aguardiente (like Everclear), and cinnamon sticks infused in hot water
A phrase you love?
Jonathan: My hometown is known as El Valle del Amanecer which translates to ‘Valley of the Sunrise.’ I love this phrase because I think it describes it perfectly. As a hiking enthusiast, my hometown is like paradise. There are so many unbelievable destinations to visit, and nothing compares to watching the sunrise from one of its mountains.