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CASA Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th through October 15th, while many other communities are honored during a dedicated month (i.e. Black History Month in February, or Pride Month in June). The reason for this designated dual-month timeframe is that it aligns with various Latin American Independence Day celebrations. The selection of September 15th as the starting date is no accident, as it synchronizes with the Independence Day festivities of five nations: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Subsequently, Mexico celebrates its Independence Day on September 16th, followed by Chile on the 18th and Belize on the 21st. Within this 30-day span, another significant occasion is Día de la Raza, also known as Indigenous Peoples Day, which Mexico observes on October 12th.

The awareness of these important overlapping holidays can encourage a more meaningful way to celebrate with your peers. Some resources to further celebrate and deepen your understanding of this community can be found here:


CASA Member Spotlight

Maldonado 23

Lydia Maldonado, Director of Nursing

San Gabriel Ambulatory Surgery Center


What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

Hispanic Heritage Month provides the opportunity for Hispanics to remember who they are and where they get their strength from.  It also is an opportunity for non-Hispanic people to see what a warm and loving community we are.

What does it mean to you to represent a minority community in the U.S.? What does it mean to you to represent a minority community while working in the healthcare industry?

Growing up in Cudahy, a small city in the outskirts of East LA, I never dreamed I would be where I am today.  It shows that with hard work, determination, the strength of my heritage and God’s grace that all things are possible for everyone and anyone.  I hope it helps to shatter some of the stereotypes people may have about Hispanics.

I am proud to represent my community in the healthcare industry.  It brings me joy to give our patients the comfort they need and to be able to assist our Spanish-speaking patients – giving them a voice they might not otherwise have.

What do you wish people understood more about Hispanic cultures?

 We are a close-knit community with a welcoming soul.  Everyone is treated like family, and family means everything to us. Because of our close connection to each other, we love to gather often and celebrate each other. 

Will you be doing anything to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? How do you suggest other non-Hispanic people could embrace or honor this month?

My family celebrates our heritage often throughout the year with all our wonderful traditions.  It’s something we live with every day.  However, this year I’m going to take the opportunity to educate and enlighten my grandchildren about their heritage with some storytelling, music and special meals.

For non-Hispanics, I suggest they find a celebration close to them and immerse themselves in the culture to feel the joy that is part of our community.

Have you seen any noteworthy programs or projects in the healthcare industry that caught your attention that are aimed at encouraging equity and diversity in the workplace or in patient care?

The healthcare industry has worked diligently to make sure patients are well-informed and understand the care they are receiving.  This includes requiring healthcare facilities to provide patients with information in a language they understand, whether it is through an in-house interpreter or a language line.  It has been very impactful in giving optimal patient care.

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