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Cooper Culture: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Cooper Culture: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th, which means we’re celebrating Hispanic culture and everything that it means to us at Mr. Cooper! For many Americans, this month serves as a time to pay homage to their cultural roots, which also influence and enrich our company culture. To celebrate, we asked members of the Hispanic Organization of Leadership & Achievement (HOLA for short) to share what being Hispanic means to them.

Here’s what they had to say:

Maria S. Lamas, AVP, Associate General Counsel

How do you typically celebrate your heritage?
We celebrate our heritage by ensuring we keep our traditions alive even when we live away from home — this means celebrating Christmas on the 24th (and not the 25th in the morning), and celebrating holidays related to our countries. By cooking traditional food and dishes. By being leaders in our communities and at work.

What does “home” mean to you, and how does that meaning motivate your work?
Home means family to me. Coming here at a young age and having to adapt to a whole new language and culture taught me that even the biggest struggles can be overcome with a strong support system. It is my family that has been the drive to ensure that I succeed in everything I do, so that one day I can provide for them like they have provided for me.

Does your Hispanic heritage ever lend itself to your job function?
I have the unique ability to advocate for people from the Hispanic community in an industry where they are underrepresented. I am literally able to speak their language, so I am able to translate documents, read their complaints, and ensure that the responses we provide make sense to them.

Do you have any funny stories about the nuances of the Hispanic culture, as it can vary by country?
I remember when we first moved to the U.S. and we kept seeing stores with a sign that said House of Pies. So when my mom’s shoe broke we went to the House of Pies to see if they could fix it. It turns out pies in English is not the same as pies in Spanish, which means feet. She walked in with shoes in one hand and a broken heel in another, and when she looked up she was surrounded by desserts. She was so embarrassed!

 

John Phillips, Loss Mitigation Disaster Representative 

What does Hispanic Heritage month mean to you?
It is a yearly recognition and celebration of the milestones and advancements per the Hispanic community.

How do you typically celebrate your heritage?
In my actions to reach back into the community through outreach programs, also continued education and learning for myself to not forget those voices, actions, and passions of people that lead the charge to evoke systematic, real change of the unheard or unseen.

What does “home” mean to you, and how does that meaning motivate your work?
Home means community, and I am a product of those hard-working people around me. The work I do allows me to guide, help, uplift, educate, and heal those around me who do not know, care to understand, or are confused how to ask.

What do you wish people knew more about the Hispanic community?
We are inviting — so very welcoming. We are not a walking stereotype. We all require the same basic needs that anyone else requires: to be loved, respected, and heard. If one takes the time, they too will feel the love and pride felt by so many others touched by the Hispanic community.

 

Luis Munoz, Loss Mitigation Sr. Specialits

What does Hispanic Heritage mean to you?
It means a set of values and beliefs that I grew up with, that were transferred to me from the previous generations. My father’s father was from Spain and my mother’s grandfather was from Spain as well — but from different regions. The rest of the family had mostly Spaniard ancestry as well. Hispanic and Latino can be different; for example, Brazilians are Latinos, but they are not Hispanic.

What does “home” mean to you, and how does that meaning motivate your work?
Home means Costa Rica, where my sons and daughter, my mother, and my friends are right now.

Does your Hispanic heritage ever lend itself to your job function?
Yes, of course. My bilingual skills, and mostly my multicultural background is a plus when assisting Hispanic and Latino customers and understanding their needs. Please note that not everyone who speaks Spanish knows the Hispanic culture!

Is there a saying/dicho you grew up with that reminds you of home or family?
“Pura vida” is the saying/dicho in Costa Rica. It translates literally as “pure life,” but means “everything is OK” or “ I am OK” or “It is OK.”

 

Sandy Diaz Haley, VP, Digital Communication & Social Media

How do you typically celebrate your heritage?
For me, it’s simply a part of who I am and maybe why I even do the things I do the way I do them. I’m raising my daughter to know that our heritage is part of our everyday.

What do you wish people knew more about the Hispanic community?
I don’t think people realize how extremely diverse the Hispanic community is. There are more than 30 countries in Latin America with different traditions, backgrounds, and beliefs.

Do you have any funny stories about the nuances of the Hispanic culture, as it can vary by country?
There are far too many stories to recount, but after spending time working in Mexico City, I realized just how different my Peruvian Spanish was from Mexican Spanish. Not all Spanish is equal.

Is there a saying you grew up hearing or saying that reminds you of home or family?
My parents always encouraged me to work hard, and as immigrants who rebuilt their lives in the U.S. I witnessed their resilience firsthand. They would always say “ponte las piles!” It’s hard to capture the spirit of the phrase in English but it essentially means “get to work.”

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