TSA is celebrating the histories, cultures, contributions, and achievements of Hispanic and Latin Americans this month. National Hispanic Heritage Month runs through Oct. 15.
Raul Diaz, a program analyst for TSA’s Enrollment Services and Vetting Programs (ESVP), appreciates the agency’s emphasis on its Hispanic influence. Diaz was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, which borders Mexico along the Rio Grande River.
“Approximately 95% of the population there is of Hispanic origin,” said Diaz. “The culture there is an incredibly lively one. Laredo brings together a huge blend of cultures, languages, and culinary influences.”
He said Hispanics tend to be highly group-oriented while putting family above all in their culture. Diaz makes it a point to bring his culture and values into the TSA workplace, noting, “TSA has become a second family to me, and I do my best to incorporate the elements of respect, collectivity, harmony, cooperation, and love into my everyday work with our people.”
When asked about his strongest influences, Diaz replied, “Mi mamá. Always pushing me to be better, my mom is my foundation and my light.”
He said his daughters, Andrea and Alexia, are also major influences, tremendously changing his life and making him a better person by teaching him patience, showing him strength, and motivating him to improve himself.
Proudest accomplishments at TSA
Diaz listed his top three accomplishments during his TSA career.
- Served as uniformed advisor for Operations Support at TSA headquarters this past year. “Being part of the Uniformed Advisor program allowed me to connect with so many people within TSA to create positive change.”
- Established a personal goal to be part of the Enrollment Services and Vetting Programs this past year. “Today, I proudly say I am a program analyst within ESVP and belong to a fabulous team working hard to make TSA a better organization.”
- Learned about the Administrator’s Inclusion Action Committee (IAC) to support the long-term growth of diversity and inclusion at TSA. “I learned about what this committee’s goal was, and I knew I had to help. Today, I assist committee members with logistical and administrative tasks. It is truly an honor to be able to assist the many talented IAC members achieve their mission.”
In his own words: Hispanic Heritage Month’s significance
“Hispanic Heritage Month is significant in that it serves to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanics to our nation.
“It is amazing that we celebrate and recognize the various groups and ethnicities within our organization. Celebrating and acknowledging Hispanic Heritage Month better helps my colleagues understand Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx people.”
By Don Wagner, TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs