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Being from Southern California, we feel fortunate that our Latinx heritage is celebrated every day and all around us. I’m Diane Padilla, VP of Communications and Marketing, and I’m Juliana Serrano, VP of Advocacy & Equity, and we’re proud to be leaders at Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley (PPPSGV).

I’m Diane, a second-generation Mexican-American. My parents were raised in Mexico and came to the U.S. as children. Growing up my culture was all around me – from speaking Spanish to the food we ate to the traditions celebrated – without thinking or trying I was exposed to the beauty of my culture. I’m now a parent to a one-year-old, and I feel more connected to my Mexican heritage than I’ve ever had. I choose every day to pass on my learnings to my son in hopes that he’ll feel the same connection and pride for his Latinx heritage that I do.

My son has given me a new appreciation for Latinx Heritage Month because it’s a reminder to recommit myself to learning more about my Mexican heritage. As a country, from September 15 to October 15, we collectively honor and celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Latinx communities.

Diane & Nico (left) & Juliana (right)

And I’m Juliana, a proud daughter of Colombian immigrant parents. I was raised in a home where my parents frequently shared stories about our native country and its history. I watched my mom cook the most amazing meals deeply rooted in our culture and traditions. I also watched tons of soccer and listened to a lot of traditional Colombian music. Living in Southern California, people often assume that I am Mexican or Chicana. I appreciate the assumption because it provides me the opportunity to share about my distinct Colombian heritage. Being Latina is one of my super powers, and I love speaking Spanish to and connecting with other members of the Latinx community.

I really appreciate Latinx Heritage Month because it is a specific and intentional time for me to join others in feeling a sense of pride in our rich history and contributions to American society.

Together, and alongside our PPPSGV colleagues, we’re working to ensure our Latinx cultures are reflected and honored in the work we do at PPPSGV. From offering materials and resources in multiple languages, to making sure the staff working at our health centers reflect the communities we serve, and intentionally opening new health centers in communities that need us most, PPPSGV is doing its part to provide culturally accessible services for all. We’re committed to expanding our reach because we believe access to health care shouldn’t depend on who you are or where you live.

As we wrap up Latinx Heritage Month, we hope you’ll join us in expanding your learning about our cultures and join us in celebrating the history of our people.

In Solidarity,

Diane & Juliana