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Welcome to Inclusive Bee: The monthly “buzz” on how MVPs can cultivate diverse and inclusive communities.
Every year in the United States, from September 15–October 15, we honor the contributions of Latinx and Hispanic Communities. We highlight the rich diversity, culture, and traditions with the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month.
We invite you to join Microsoft and the MVP Award Program in the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Here are some resources to help you learn more:
- The Smithsonian Latino Center Hispanic Heritage Month Resources
- Microsoft’s blog posts about Hispanic Heritage Month
- Techqueria–a nonprofit that serves the largest community of Latinx in Tech
- Cartoonist Terry Blas helps explain the difference between the terms “Latino” and “Hispanic” in this comic
We asked some of our MVPs about their perspectives on their heritage, identity and Hispanic Heritage Month. Here is what they shared:
Ivana Tilca, AI MVP based in Cordoba, Argentina
In these times of global concern about COVID19, technology plays a key role in my family. My brother lives in New York and my parents are more than 800km away. Skype is the platform we use on weekends to communicate and to see each other and share a moment as a family.
Platforms such as Skype and Teams are windows to the world–they give us the possibility to reach people from all over the globe. The same is true with the Azure Fundamentals initiative in Latin America where 2,000 students registered to participate in the virtual training, and a version for AI and DevOps will be launched in the next couple of months.
Thanks to communication platforms, today, it is possible to participate in events that used to be very difficult to be a part of, or to access training, or training in a comfortable way without leaving our loved ones at this time of global uncertainty.
Bruno Capuano, AI MVP based in Burlington, Canada
I've been living away from my home country from more than 15 years. We have Latin heritage so being connected is very important for us, so each year, we find new ways to connect. Back in the 2010s, I remember how we used to call my family using Skype. However, it wasn’t the standard skype call. We use the Skype App in XBox360 and Kinect 1 as a camera – it was amazing to show my 1-and 3-year-old kids to their grandparents.
Keeping a small kid quiet in front of a camera is a challenge! And how about remote support your family? That's super fun! It's been a long time since those days, we continued using Skype, but 2021 is different.
These COVID-19 days forced us to change our behaviors; it was the perfect time to connect again with faraway relatives. We set up a weekly mandatory call for all the family around the world, and there was an unexpected surprise for me. My stepmom is a Vice Principal in a High School. Like most of the world, at the beginning of March, she was forced to work remotely. In her school they the main platform is Office 365, and every week, with every new feature; she told me how amazing Microsoft Teams is.
- Have you seen the new raise hand feature? It's so useful for big rooms!
- The new together mode is super fun for all the classes.
And more. It's weird, we live in three separate countries, and somehow thanks to these tech experiences, we are more and more connected.
Carlos Robles, Data Platform MVP based in Denver, USA
We live in a digital world where we can expand our frontiers, whether you want to connect with your family/friends to chat, discuss relevant topics with colleagues, or even lead a tech community from a distant place. I took advantage of my tech background to build a virtual platform where IT professionals from my home country can access free learning resources through live webinars, social media posts, GitHub repositories, or YouTube videos.
I’m very proud to be the founder and one of the Guatemala SQL Server Group leaders, which has been established as the largest, most influential, and active IT community in Guatemala. Given our acceptance, we partnered with the Docker and Kubernetes communities to organize the first virtual conference at a large scale: Tech Community Day.
The event was a blast, having more than 5,000 views just during the first two days. Of course, that was only thanks to our incredible lineup of speakers from different parts of the world, each one of them with a unique set of skills and specialization like Microsoft MVPs, Google GDEs, and Docker Captains.
I believe the key to our rapid growth and the positive impact was teamwork between the community leaders and, more importantly, applying technology to our favor, always looking to find the right tool for the job.
Paco de la Cruz, Microsoft Azure MVP based in Melbourne, Australia
Hi, I’m Paco de la Cruz. I’m originally from Mexico and living in Australia. Just in case you didn’t know, Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country, and is in North America. I share some of my reflections during Hispanic Heritage Month.
I’ve been living abroad for nine years. Being away from my country all this time has helped me to realise what I value the most from my own culture. Many things give me pride in being Mexican, including our family values, our rich traditions and history, our delicious food, our unique ingenuity, and sense of humor–most of which are derived from the syncretism of various ancient cultures, like the Mayans and Aztecs, with the Spanish culture.
My wife is also Mexican, which helps us to keep our values, language, and traditions as a family. However, I do miss being connected with other people with a common background. Luckily, technology has helped us to stay in contact with our families and friends back home.
I truly enjoy sharing with other people things about my beautiful country, our history, and our traditions. If you want to know more about Mexico, check out this video.