National Hispanic Heritage Month Employee Spotlight – Flora Garcia

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Employee Spotlight: Flora Garcia

What country is your family from?
Our family is from México

What is one of your favorite cultural traditions that your family celebrates?
A holiday that is right around the corner is Dia de los Muertos. This holiday reminds us that death is a part of life so we should celebrate it by honoring those who have gone before us. We create an altar to remember our loved ones that have passed. The altar is set up on November 1st with pictures of our loved ones, a cross for blessings, incense and candles to guide the spirits, loved ones’ favorite drinks, cempasuchil or Mexican marigold is used to decorate the altar and create a path, a sugar skull for each loved one, and pan de Muertos, ‘Mexican bread of the dead’. Unlike scary Halloween, Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of life and death. November 1st and 2nd also align with the two Catholic holidays, All Saints Day (honoring children who have passed) and All Souls Day (honoring adults).

How do you celebrate a special occasion? What types of foods are cooked and which is your favorite?
We celebrate all life events with family, food, and music always. Some of my favorites at fiestas are mole and barbacoa. There are always great drinks too, Palomas in the summer and champurrado (hot Mexican chocolate drink) or ponche (hot fruit-based drink with tequila) in the winter.

Name 3 elements of your culture that are most important to you.
We are so proud of our traditions and our ancestors. A great example of how we honor both is the respect we have for our elders. Our parents and grandparents have so much knowledge of our traditions and customs, and they are so important to us.

Fiestas and Food – family, food, and fun just go together. Food is a way we show love. We celebrate achievements or a milestone, but we also take care of our sick and comfort the mourning.

Which H&W Value most resonates with you?
The value that most resonates with me is Respect – Treat everyone with kindness and respect.

How many years have you worked with H&W?
I have been with Hill & Wilkinson for 17 years.

What languages are spoken at home?
We speak Spanish, English, and Spanglish.

Who is your favorite Hispanic author/artist?
A couple of good classic books written by Hispanic authors that I like are:

  • El Laberinto de la Soledad by Octavio Paz
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • Bonus children’s book: Que Cosas dice mi Abuela, written by Ana Galan

Name a place from your country that you wish people could experience.
Mexico’s Huasteca Potosina. The Huasteca spans across 4 states: San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, Tamaulipas and Queretaro. People come from all over the world to see the waterfalls, turquoise rivers, cenote swimming holes, and a jungle garden built by an English poet. It’s a beautiful oasis everyone should visit at least once.

Name your favorite place to eat authentic Hispanic food in DFW.

La Calle Doce on 12th street is a Veracruz-style seafood restaurant that has been in Oak Cliff since 1981. The Salmon Tehuacan is a personal favorite.