Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, we're spotlighting employees who live Molson Coors' values every day. Today, we speak with Cesar Bollas, a sales representative lead based in the Dallas Fort-Worth area.
Since joining Molson Coors last year, Cesar has been involved with our employee resource group SALUD as its professional development chair. Through his involvement with the ERG, he's been able to connect with other Latino employees and share his experience.
Q: Do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? If so, how? If not, why?
It can be beneficial for children and young people to celebrate and understand different cultural backgrounds, but at this point of my life I personally do not need a “heritage month” to celebrate my identity. I celebrate it all the time with some cold Miller Lite, Peroni and Topo Chico Hard Seltzer!
Q: From your own experience, can you talk about Latino inclusivity and why it’s so important?
It can be complicated growing up with dual identities in the U.S., sometimes feeling judged for expressing one side more than the other. My younger self wouldn’t be as open as I am today, but there were many times that I felt like I didn’t belong. Whether it’s because my schoolmates weren’t familiar with my culture or for having more “American” tendencies than other Latinos around me. I believe it is important to bring awareness to ALL the different cultures that create America.
Q: How do you feel about the terms Hispanic and Latino? Do you have a preference?
I have never used the term “Hispanic” to refer to myself or other people from Latin America. It's always been “Latino” or “Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cubano,” etc. If you were to look up the definition of “Hispanic,” most dictionaries include people from Spain or Spanish descent first. Given that most of the colonizers in Latin American were from Spain and the history behind it, I do not allow that term to be part of my identity. I don’t hold any ill will towards Spain or its people, but I am VERY proud of my culture.
Q: Do you have a favorite recipe or tradition that has been passed down or is special to you?
A tradition I miss from childhood that I will be certain to pass along to my children one day is how we celebrate birthdays. Having our 300 relatives/friends over, enough food/drink to feed half the city, giant piñatas and a tres leches cakes. The best part was shoving your relatives' face in the cake when they blow the candles out! (If you know, you know.)
Q: Is there a book, movie, TV show or podcast you recommend people check out to learn more about Latino culture?
If you haven’t seen “Selena,” I would highly recommend it.