This Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re highlighting Hispanic men and women who play a pivotal role in helping the American Red Cross accomplish its humanitarian mission every day. This week, we’d like to highlight Marco Bracamontes, Communications Manager for the Hurricane Harvey Long Term Recovery Program. Here is a conversation we had with him around Hispanic Heritage Month and the importance of giving back.
Why is your Hispanic heritage important to you?
My heritage has been a source of pride and inspiration during key moments of my life. As I grow older, I reflect more on the roots of my Latino heritage.
Why do you believe Hispanic Heritage Month is important?
Hispanics are reshaping the way we do business, how we educate new generations, how we see the future, etc. Hispanic values are influencing the social fabric of this country in a positive manner. Celebrating Hispanic culture and traditions is crucial at this time and age as we all come to the realization that Latinos are impacting every aspect of American life.
What does it mean for you to give back?
I am blessed to live in the United States. Giving back is just part of saying “thank you” for all I’ve received in this country. I’ve learned the greatness of giving from my American friends and colleagues.
How does your Hispanic heritage influence your work with the Red Cross?
As a communications manager for the Harvey Long Term Recovery Program, I need to be able to address the needs of impacted groups, including Latinos. My Hispanic heritage enables me to communicate with Hispanics from different backgrounds. Spanish language is an integral part of my job on a daily basis.
What special point of view has background given you?
Being bi-cultural has given me the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. My Hispanic heritage allows me to better understand underserved communities and communicate with groups otherwise considered marginal to society. As a Hispanic, I can empathize with the challenges disadvantaged individuals are facing to recover from disasters like Hurricane Harvey.
Who are your role models?
- Henry Cisneros (U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development)
- Gloria Molina (Los Angeles County Supervisor)
- Lionel Sosa (Advertising Executive and Entrepreneur)
What is one thing you’d tell your 20-year old self?
Set a goal and work tirelessly to achieve it. American culture rewards passion and perseverance. Put your heart and soul into everything you do.
What is your proudest life achievement?
Sharing my heritage with a broad audience has been my proudest achievement. I won the Lone Star Emmy Award in 2008 as the creator and producer of the “Best Special Series.”
How would you encourage others to get involved?
The Red Cross gives you an opportunity to help your community, and once you’ve had the experience of volunteering with the Red Cross, your view of the world will change forever. Consider giving of yourself and support your local Red Cross.