Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, and today we're celebrating by recognizing Leisure Services Director Robert Salazar, pictured in the orange polo shirt. Here's what his Mexican heritage means to him in his own words.
My father, Ed, was born in Chicago in 1957 to two parents who had emigrated from Mexico in search of the American Dream. My father tells me stories about long car rides from Chicago back down to Mexico and to the Texas border town of Laredo in his youth and young adult years. He tells me of how his uncle would work on a farm near the railroad and what a treat it would be for them to have fresh meat to eat. He tells me these stories and I think about what those type of experiences would have been like and what life was like for my grandparents and great aunts and uncles.
I have been very fortunate to have the opportunities I have had so far, especially here in New Smyrna Beach. I extremely grateful for the sacrifices, struggles, and challenges that my family went through in order for me to have the opportunities that I have today.
Both sides of my family have an extremely strong work ethic, as both of my grandfathers worked in factories and assembly lines throughout their careers, however I see my work ethic and drive deeply as rooted in my Mexican heritage and that I am tremendously proud of.
Let us know how you're celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month here in New Smyrna Beach by following us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Nextdoor) and visit https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/ to learn more.