September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, and Tidal Basin recognizes several Hispanic employees who give their talent and expertise to Tidal Basin’s humanitarian mission.

Initially observed as a week beginning in 1968 and later expanded in 1988 to cover 30 days, National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. We witness these contributions every day in communities across the country.

Tidal Basin is proud to be a part of the rich Spanish heritage and tradition in the United States and even more proud of the extraordinary people who mirror the diverse community we proudly serve. Stay tuned. Over the next four weeks, we will profile several of our team members.

Today we are featuringLuis Avila, VicePresident ofMitigation.

Where are you from or the place of heritage?
Cuban and Colombian.

What do you love about being Latino/a, Hispanic?
The uniqueness of the Hispanic cultures- The Music, the Food, the beauty of each heritage, and how my family has been able to mix many of the unique quirkiness of merging two different parts of the world.

What is something you can share about your heritage that most people don’t know about? Colombia is the world’s largest exporter of Emeralds in the World- Cuba is the largest Island in the Caribbean, and has 9 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) world heritage sites.

Tu plato favorito, what is your favorite food/meal? Why?
From Colombia Bandeja Paisa (County tray) For those days you are really hungry, having the combination of beef, pork, rice, beans, Avocado, fried eggs, fried plantain, and sausage- covers all the bases!!! From Cuba- Ropa Vieja (Old Clothes) is a tasty meal of shredded beef, over white rice that cures the belly and missing a home-cooked meal!!

Anything else you want to share?
One of the beautiful things about our country is how two people from different parts of the world, were able to meet while having jobs at JFK, and bring their individual cultures together to create a family that continues for generations.