Employee Spotlight: Martha Coro
To us, there’s no better way to kick off our blog page than to spotlight one of our Hispanic employees in celebration of the start of Hispanic Heritage Month – Martha Coro. Here at The InterMed Group, Martha is a HR Coordinator and is responsible for all things employee related from internal employee events to onboarding and payroll.
Outside of her educational and career achievements thus far, at her core, she is Latina and strongly believes it has helped shaped her become who she is today. We sat down with Martha to talk her background and how being a Latina has shaped her personally and professionally.
What is your and your family’s background and story?
I was proudly born in Mexico City, Mexico to my Mexican mom and my Cuban dad. My mom was an attorney in Mexico, it was a career that meant the world to her. However, as the dynamics of Mexico began to change in several aspects, my mom decided that it would be best for us to move. When I was 3 years old, we landed in Miami, FL, where our American Dream began. I am beyond grateful for the difficult decisions and sacrifices that both of my parents made to their countries and their careers to provide me with a better chance at education and safety.
What does being Latina mean to you? Generally? In the workplace?
Coming from an immigrant background and experiencing different places, meeting all sorts of people, I found that being Latina is a great way to connect with others more openly. I often find myself having the same experiences that others have had coming from their countries as well. When I was in grad school, I made it my goal to ensure that my peers were comfortable and felt safe by planning and implementing events with other students to really highlight our diversity in a positive manner. In the workplace, it means a lot for me to be Latina because I am the fruit of my parent’s hard work and dedication. I am so happy to show my parents how far their perseverance has gone in my upbringing, and that it was all worth it. I also firmly believe in bringing diversity and inclusion in the workplace because we all have different background and experiences here at InterMed and I love opportunities where we can showcase that. We’re all different, but we’re all here together and work as a team.
What is one life lesson that being a Latina has taught you and continues to help you today?
Perseverance. I watched my mom and dad sacrifice their careers and lives to bring me to the U.S., so watching both of my parents sacrifice everything for me has made me more grateful for being in this country. If my mom became an attorney again in a different country, in a different language, then I can do anything I set my mind to. My parents had so many obstacles and barriers and I don’t have any of that– I have everything here: opportunity, safety, tools, resources, support, everything they didn’t have, I have. The sky is the limit!
What is your favorite Hispanic tradition?
Probably Day of the Dead; I think it’s so interesting. Most people might think that sounds scary, or strange to celebrate, but it’s really a beautiful celebration of our ancestors. The tradition is that we set up an alter at home and cover it with candles, food, and a special sugary bread and at night when you go to sleep, your ancestors come in the house to dance and feast. In my house, its typically a one-day thing, but in Mexico it’s a whole month – they decorate the streets and it’s a big celebration.
I cherish these holiday traditions with my family. When you migrate to another country, balancing the two cultures is like walking a tightrope between two different worlds - I’m a little bit from here, I’m little bit from there, I was born there, but live here. Being able to celebrate these holidays is like your roots pulling at you - I’m here in the U.S., but I’m still celebrating something that is important to me.
Is there a Hispanic figure you look up to? Who and why?
With my dad being Cuban, I also grew up with Cuban food, music, and traditions. Someone that always stood out to me was Celia Cruz. I remember waking up on Saturday mornings and my parents would be cleaning and cooking breakfast while listening to her music. To me, and the Latino community, she embodied charisma, positivity, and kindness. One of her songs, "La vida es un carnaval" says, "For life is a carnival, and your pains go away by singing." I think that growing up listening to her uplifting music truly made an impact on the way I view life. Thanks to her legacy, I can recall fond memories with my dad and celebrate my roots.
Do you have any plans to celebrate HHM with your family or friends?
Since being out of school I anticipate it will be harder to celebrate HHM since a lot of the events I attended will not be on my radar. However, I do hope to be able to celebrate it at work with my coworkers whether it is through our bulletin board, a potluck, or simply having conversations about our backgrounds. I always say that celebrating our Hispanic roots is a lifelong event, and while there is a month dedicated to highlighting our community, I truly look for opportunities to showcase my Latina pride all year round.