MADISON, Wis. (9/15/14)--Today is the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month--an opportunity for credit unions to showcase their involvement and commitment to Hispanic members, communities and businesses.
National Hispanic Heritage Month runs through Oct. 15 and celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Today--Sept. 15--is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.
"Knowing the cultural makeup of your Hispanic community can influence how and on what days you may choose to celebrate or the content you develop for staff and members," said Anna Pena, client relations manager for Coopera.
Start by welcoming Hispanic members to an open house at your credit union, Pena advised. If you can't do an event on your own, consider partnering with a local business or organization that is trusted by the Hispanic community.
For example, AmeriCU CU, Rome, N.Y., with $1.2 billion in assets, is a sponsor of Tuesday's sixth annual Latino Upstate Summit, which presents networking opportunities with professionals who are immersed in the Latino culture and sharing ideas for connecting with Hispanics.
"Don't be afraid to share your objective with event organizers," Pena said, adding, "Bringing fair, dignified and trustworthy financial services to the Hispanic community is an honorable undertaking." A credit union that is committed to its Hispanic community will tailor its services to meet those needs.
Sebastian Aroca, managing partner with marketing firm Hispanic Market Advisors, suggested companies acknowledge the diversity within their own walls. It is important to recognize the contributions that come from Hispanic employees of different cultures and backgrounds, he said.