TSYS Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

From salsa dancing to cultural food and colorful fashion, TSYS celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15.  

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TSYS Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Sep 23, 2019

TSYS Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

From salsa dancing to cultural food and colorful fashion, TSYS celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15.

During this time, TSYS recognizes the contributions that Hispanic-American team members have made to our company's growth and success. We also celebrate the history and cultures of this unique demographic.

"What better way to celebrate our rich culture than with delicious food, music, dance and camaraderie," said TSYS team member Irene Leyva Burns. "The more, the merrier! Salud!"

At TSYS, we have many Hispanic team members in our workplace who have positively enriched our company. Recently, we caught up with a few and asked them about their heritage, traditions and what they like about working at TSYS. Read below for their stories.

Maria Blondet

Native country: Venezuela
Job title: Sr. Risk & Compliance Analyst

Maria Blondet with her dog, Wesson.

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

Hispanic Heritage Month is a great way for me to learn about and appreciate Hispanic cultures other than my own. The first time I experienced TSYS' Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, I realized my understanding of other Hispanic cultures was limited. Seeing and celebrating different perspectives and cultures is a great learning opportunity and has helped me grow personally. Hispanic countries are so diverse and rich in tradition and history, that I learn something new every year.

How do you plan on celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month?

I'm looking forward to attending the Tri-City Latino Association Festival in Columbus, Ga. this year.

What do you like best about working at TSYS?

I really like how TSYS celebrates various cultures throughout the year. This has allowed me to learn about cultures around the world while also giving me the opportunity to interact and ask questions. TSYS' commitment to cultural appreciation has allowed me to gain more respect for other cultures and for people as a whole. 

What's your favorite tradition from your native country?

Celebrating Christmas. While Venezuela's culture is a combination of indigenous, African and Spanish traditions, we are mainly Catholic. So, Christmas is very important throughout the country. We have a final service called Misa de Gallo at our church and usually celebrate on Christmas Eve. We don't wait for Santa, however —baby Jesus brings our toys and gifts.

Christian Ortiz

Native country: United States
What is your heritage country? Puerto Rico & Mexico
Job title: Risk & Compliance Analyst 1

Christian Ortiz

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

To me, Hispanic Heritage Month holds great meaning. It's a celebration and recognition of Hispanic and Latino histories, cultures and contributions. Whether we mention Spain, Central America or countries in South America, Hispanic cultures carry a rich and diverse history that has impacted people from all over the world. From music to food and even fashion, our culture is definitive in its variance. 

How do you plan on celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month?

As the marketing director for the Tri-City Latino Association Festival, it is my honor to promulgate not only the cultures we celebrate, but the unity and inclusion within our community. My board and I plan to make the month of September a true celebration. From community engagement to our festival on Sept. 21 and beyond, I plan on making every day a celebration through friendships, social engagements and laughter.

What do you like best about working at TSYS?

The thing I love most about working here at TSYS is that I can be myself in and out of my role. Being able to bring my true self through the door every day allows me to give 100%, and for this, I am truly thankful. TSYS encourages me to be a servant leader, and because of this, I feel that my team is my family. TSYS is part of supporting many of the local events that I attend for our community. I take pride in our #TSYSLIFE.

What's your favorite tradition from your Hispanic heritage country?

My favorite tradition form my Hispanic countries are dancing Merengue, Salsa y Bachata and watching my favorite Mariachi bands play for my children.

José Torres

Native country: Puerto Rico
Job title: Client Service Analyst Senior

Jose Torres

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

Hispanic Heritage Month means celebrating the culture and contributions of all Hispanic people around the world. It means having Hispanics getting together as one and celebrating our roots with food, dancing and cultural songs. 

How do you plan on celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month?

Planning a lunch that brings together Hispanics and non-Hispanics, so that we may share what the occasion means for our culture through food and music.

What do you like best about working at TSYS?

I love assisting and helping my clients on a daily basis. I support several Spanish speaking clients as well which helps me exercise my Spanish language and build deeper relationships. I also love the diversity within the company. There are so many people of different cultures. I also appreciate the flexibility that TSYS allows us to celebrate our heritage.

What's your favorite tradition from your Hispanic country?

My favorite tradition would be Three Kings Day. In Puerto Rico, this is celebrated on Jan. 6. The night before on Jan. 5, children all over the island prepare for Three Kings Day by taking shoe boxes and filling them with grass. That evening, the shoe boxes are left at the foot of the bed for the camels that the Kings ride on. The next morning, the shoe boxes are found empty and there are gifts at the foot of our beds from the three kings who brought Jesus gifts when he was a baby.

Irene Leyva Burns

Native country: United States
What is your heritage country? Cuba, El Salvador
Job title: Senior Strategic Alliances Manager

Irene Burns with her son, Gabriel.

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

It's an opportunity to acknowledge Latin American countries and celebrate the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans by educating others about the rich history, diversity and traditions. Although as a family we try to learn about our culture throughout the year, during Hispanic Heritage Month it's an extra special time to focus attention and teach my children about their heritage.

How do you plan on celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month?

What better way to celebrate our rich culture than with delicious traditional food, music, dance and camaraderie. The more, the merrier! Salud!

What do you like best about working at TSYS?

I'm proud to be part of an organization that genuinely embraces diversity and understands the importance of inclusion. Diversity is an invaluable asset that generates creativity which leads to innovation. I believe diversity is a key contributing factor in what makes TSYS a pioneer and highly regarded organization.

What's your favorite tradition from your Hispanic heritage country?

Food, food and food! Among my favorite dishes are El Salvadorian Pupusas and classic Cuban Ropa Vieja. Although not necessarily a tradition that originated in either of my native countries, but who doesn't love a piñata! One of my fondest childhood memories is free diving to grab as many yummy treats as my hands and dress could hold. Whether on grass or concrete, skinned knees were a small price to pay for the sugar-filled prizes.

Carla Ryan

Native country: Ecuador
Job title: Project Manager

Carla Ryan

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

I think it's a great opportunity to recognize the contributions of the Hispanic culture in the United States. After all, there are 57 million of us living here!

How do you plan on celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month?

Quite frankly, we don't just celebrate one month. I like to think every time a group of us is together is a celebration of our heritage.

What do you like best about working at TSYS?

The people, of course!

What's your favorite tradition from your Hispanic heritage country?

On New Year's Eve, they celebrate the ending of the year by making a doll that represents the previous year. It's called the Año Viejo. The doll is created, and in some cases, represents an irritating person, a disliked political figure, or even disappointments about past mistakes or unachieved goals. That evening at midnight the doll is symbolically set on fire to burn up the failures, regrets and anger of the old year in order to usher in the hopes and resolutions of the new one. It's still my favorite tradition ever!

Irene Sierra

Native country: United States
What is your heritage country? Puerto Rico.
Job title: SVP, Human Resources

Irene Sierra

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

For me, it's a time to showcase the contributions of Hispanic pioneers, along with facts about the advancement of Hispanics and issues important to them.

How do you plan on celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month?

I appreciate my Hispanic heritage all year round through stories, food and music with my family and friends.

What do you like best about working at TSYS?

The welcoming nature of the culture and concern shown for team members, our customers, partners and communities.

What's your favorite tradition from your Hispanic country?

Salsa dancing!