As a part of TIBCO’s Diversity & Inclusion initiative for the month of September, we are spotlighting employees who are of Hispanic heritage, asking them what makes them proud of their heritage and what they plan to do to embrace their identity in the future.
TIBCO: Tell us about yourself
Alejandro Peña Ponce: I’m the happy husband of Karen and the father of Mateo (6), Kaleb (4), and Tristan (2). They make my days funny, memorable, and full of learning. I’ve been with TIBCO for nine years as a Business Manager based in Guadalajara, Mexico.
TIBCO: This year’s Hispanic Heritage Month theme is, “Be proud Of Your Past, Embrace The Future.” What is your Hispanic heritage?
AP: My grandfather is from La Barca, Jalisco, a small town an hour and a half away from Guadalajara, where my grandmother is from so I’m 100% “Jalisciense”.
TIBCO: What about your past are you most proud of?
AP: I love to hear the stories from my grandpa about his past and being a sailor. He spent years traveling and was in touch with different cultures, which always showed respect and admiration for the Hispanic culture.
TIBCO: What ways will you “embrace your future” during the month of September and beyond?
AP: September is known in México as a patriotic month, and it is because we celebrate Independence Day. Beyond celebrating, I also like to take some time to reflect on all the privileges we have right here thanks to our ancestors and how we can contribute to making this world a better place to live. As a father of three, I’m mostly concerned about what kind of people I’m leaving for this world. I’m convinced the current challenges we are facing globally are here to teach us invaluable lessons that we need to learn to become a better society and to embrace our future.
TIBCO: In what ways do you feel the Hispanic communities have helped shape the world?
AP: A few influences of our culture include things like our flavors being present in the top restaurants in the world, our sounds being mixed with music from other countries, our people settling down in other countries, all bringing with them a piece of our culture. I love that feeling of being out of your house but being able to see a sign in Spanish, taste our ingredients in a dish, or listen to music played with our soul.
TIBCO: What does being a part of the Hispanic community mean to you?
AP: Being part of the Hispanic community, there is a huge responsibility to act with ethics and respect for other communities. It is the opportunity to preserve our culture and look forward to a better world that is more inclusive no matter where you are from, how you look, and what your capacities are. You will always have the same opportunities and the chance to be happy.
TIBCO: What are the benefits of celebrating our shared history and cultures throughout TIBCO?
AP: It represents a great chance to know each other and be aware of other cultures apart from ours. We become strong together while working towards an inclusive environment that promotes and celebrates diversity.
TIBCO: What is a Hispanic tradition that you wish to pass down, that your parents have passed down to you?
AP: Without hesitation, it is our “All Souls Day” celebration (Dia de Los Muertos) where we honor our ancestors and our loved ones that died. We believe in the fact that there is life after death, and it’s believed that during this day it is possible for those who died to visit their loved ones. That’s why we build altars with food, beverages, and all the things that those persons enjoyed when alive. We also present chocolate or sugar skulls to the dead with their name written on the forehead. This celebration has become more popular thanks to the movie “Coco” from Disney Pixar.
TIBCO: Any other thoughts you would like to share related to being part of the Hispanic community within TIBCO?
AP: I would like to say thank you for doing this kind of initiative. As I mentioned earlier, this promotes diversity and inclusion. I’m proud and happy to be part of the Hispanic community but even happier to be part of a world with the potential to build a simple and huge community where everybody has the same opportunities. I look forward to seeing and supporting more initiatives like this in our TIBCO community. I’m proud to be Hispanic, proud to be TIBCO, and proud to be a citizen of this world.
During the month of September, join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Are you a TIBCO team member? To get involved and join an ERG today, visit TIBCO Connect for more details!