Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and recognize the many contributions of individuals of Hispanic Heritage. At Family First Health, we are excited to shine a light on some of our Hispanic team members who contribute to our work and community every day.
Today’s spotlight is on Dr. Luis Garcia, who is a Physician on our team. Dr. Garcia has been on the Family First Health team for nine years. Read more to learn about Dr. Garcia’s Hispanic Heritage, and how his heritage influences his work.
Site: George Street
From what country do you or your family originate?
What does your heritage and Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Though I grew up in the states (Maryland), I always had a sense that I was part of a greater, broader community of not only Puerto Ricans but all Hispanics across the globe. Though individual cultures vary from country to country, and even region to region, I’ve always felt a sense of solidarity with all those that share a common Hispanic lineage. Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and honor that common lineage, celebrating and experiencing our various cultures.
How does your heritage influence the work you do?
There are many aspects of heritage that are tied to culture, one of which is language. Spanish has always been a part of my life. In fact, this was my first language, and it was by watching Sesame Street and going to pre-school that I finally learned English. This great gift of speaking Spanish, which my parents gave me, has allowed me to care for many of the underserved within our community of York.
What are some of your favorite family and/or cultural traditions?
When I think of something unique to Puerto Rican culture, I always think of “parrandas.” This is a custom of high-energy celebration with lots of food, dancing, and music taking place during the Christmas season. Think of it as Christmas Carols but on steroids! Families join together and go from house to house celebrating all night until the early morning hours. Though we don’t do this as much anymore, my parents did this with their small community of Puerto Rican immigrants in Maryland while I was growing up, and I have fond memories of this lively tradition.
What is something you wish others knew about Hispanic Heritage?
All Hispanic cultures are different and beautiful! The way we speak, what we eat, our cultural dress, it is all different! There is so much to experience and learn from every country.