Celebrating My Roots – National Hispanic Heritage Month
Visiting family has always been one of my favorite and most treasured memories. Coming from a Hispanic background, family is one of, if not THE most, important part of my life. Family is there through it all – during times of celebration, happiness, joy, grief, and most commonly (at least in my family!) during times of eating and dancing. I could never count the number of celebrations with my family because any excuse is good enough to get together around a dinner table, break bread, and party!
Now, visiting family for me takes quite a bit more than one might think – it typically takes 1-2 layovers and about 5-7 hours of air travel. My family comes from the country of Ecuador, roughly about 2500+ miles away from my home in North Carolina, right on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. It’s one of the best countries in Latin America! (not that I’m biased or anything…) From the food, to the culture, and the varied landscapes, Ecuador is a rich place full of color and life.
Since Ecuador is so far away, going to visit family is quite the production. It requires a lot of coordination. This year, I packed my bags, and set off for the city of Guayaquil, the main port and largest city in the country. It was amazing! There is no greater feeling than going home. We traveled to so many amazing places that I remember seeing as a young boy during trips to Ecuador.
This trip was especially meaningful as we were able to see so much of our beloved country and the impact of the devastating earthquake that occurred the month before we arrived. These are places that are very near and dear to my heart, and while it was shocking and uncomfortable at times to see so much of it changed, it was extremely encouraging to see the people and their rich culture shining through it all!
Throughout the trip I was able to spend quality time with so many friends and family members, which made it hard to leave! The trip ended up exceeding my expectations and being even more special than I thought it would be. I’m thankful that DHG and my mangers worked with me to allow me to take the time to revisit my roots.
Luis Guevara is a member of the DHG Alumni Network. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, live music, trying new food and watching football.