Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration of the history and culture of the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities. Every year from September 15th to October 15th we appreciate and honor the colorful cultures, rich histories, and diversity of the American Latino community.
The month-long celebration commemorates the significant contributions these communities have brought to the United States economy, culture, and society. This year’s theme, Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation, encourages us to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities and a stronger nation.
We sat down with Eddy Alay and Jonathan Suarez to discuss the Hispanic and Latinx representation in the workforce as well as their daily lives. Eddy, Tax Associate at Wiss, is a First-Generation Hispanic American born and raised in New Jersey, was the first in his family to graduate high school, college and obtain several degrees.
Eddy explained, “The person I am today has a lot to do with my Hispanic heritage. Being that both my parents were immigrants from Jutiapa, Guatemala and I come from such an urban area, I always felt that I had something to prove, especially during my college days. I made it a goal of mine to never give up and always reach for the stars, no matter what the task was. This mentality has helped me get so far in life.”
“As I continue to grow into the profession of an accountant, I’ve realized there aren’t many Hispanic accountants/CPAs out there. According to Zippa.com, Hispanics/Latinos only make up 9.6% of all accountants in the United States. I would love to see more accounting firms take an approach to inspire the younger Hispanic culture to consider the profession of accounting. Most of us speak English and Spanish, and this is such a valuable skill set as it would give firms the edge against competitors and more potential to expand their clientele as well!”
Our mission at Wiss is to empower individuals and businesses to maximize their potential. We aren’t here to just do business; we are here with a purpose. We are committed to working with people of diverse cultural backgrounds and underrepresented groups, which include kids in urban areas, female-owned businesses, family-owned businesses and anyone on the edges who dare to be heard.
Jonathan Suarez, CPA at Wiss, was born in Otavalo, Ecuador and traveled to the US when he was eight years old. He pursued accounting to follow in his father’s footsteps and detach from the stigma.
Jonathan expressed, “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 and treat Hispanics with the same amount of respect.”
At Wiss we support, challenge, and root for one another to help people become the best versions of themselves. We believe treating one another respectfully and embracing our talents and differences enable us to deliver the best level of service we can. We strive to make our corner of the world better than we found it. Our hope to inspire America to break down barriers to allow all people, including Latinos, to have equal access to opportunity and thrive.
It’s time to recognize and honor the contributions and cultures of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America to unify as one strong nation. Celebrate this month by spreading awareness, indulging in delicious flavors, dancing at festivals, watching films, reading books, and highlighting important Hispanic and Latino heroes in history!
Jonathan and Eddy provided us with traditional dishes and drinks they think everyone should try!
“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.” -Jonathan
“A Latin dish everyone must try at least once in their lifetime is Pupusas. They are very popular amongst Central American culture. A quick description: stuffed tortillas with meat, cheese, beans and veggies, with a side of shredded cabbage and homemade tomato sauce. Sounds good, right?!” -Eddy
“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.” -Jonathan