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Through the COE Lens: How We Celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month

By: Joe Mandato | October 15, 2020

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) and to support our new diversity and inclusion initiative, members of our team had the chance to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude

Considered one of the world’s greatest literary achievements, the multigenerational story follows the Buendía family, whose patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, founded the town of Macondo.

To wrap up the month of celebration, we hosted an internal roundtable discussion on the novel. Employees who attended had the opportunity to discuss the book and how it’s impacted their understanding of Hispanic culture. 

One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of my absolute favorite novels,” said Len Wohl, Backend Developer.  “Through the lens of magical realism, it offers an incredible insight into the neo-colonialism that plagued Latin America in the 20th Century by mystically blending the real and the unreal.” 

“As someone who doesn’t particularly engage with history or politics, I learned more about them then I ever expected as I lived through the rise and fall of the noble Buendía family, and I gained a sincere appreciation for the culture of the region.”

It’s that magical realist style and thematic substance of One Hundred Years of Solitude that established it as an important representative novel of the literary Latin American Boom of the 1960s and 1970s, which was stylistically influenced by Modernism (European and North American) and the Cuban Vanguardia (Avant-Garde) literary movement (Wikipedia). 

“Reading One Hundred Years of Solitude was an epic literary escape,” said Stephanie Zhou, Sr. Sales Operations Analyst. “Márquez was able to temporarily take me away from my regular world and introduce me to generations of tangled stories in Macondo.”

“The vivid imagery he used whenever members of the Buendía family were in love, grieving, or even wrapped up in their curiosity of the world that surrounded them gave a magical touch to real human feelings that are sometimes hard to explain. I love that this opened the door for us to learn a little more about Colombian history and the beautiful writing styles of Latin American literature.”

In addition to reading the book, we’ve been more active on social media by posting articles that recognize Hispanic leaders in the technology industry. We hope by sharing some of these stories we can raise awareness on both the strides Hispanic-Americans are making as well as the obstacles they continue to face.

This is just another way we’re taking steps to celebrate and learn about other cultures and continue our conversation on diversity and inclusion.

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