During Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate culture, customs, and the achievements of Latinos living in the United States. For the second consecutive year, FUD (which stands for Fine, Unique, and Delicious) is recognizing a group of Latinos as “Real Hispanic Heroes” for their inspiring success stories and efforts to improve themselves and their communities.
FUD, a Hispanic brand owned by Sigma, was created in Mexico almost 70 years ago. In the late 90’s FUD began to expand its reach into the U.S by marketing meat and cheese products.
“FUD is an immigrant brand and we know the challenges of reaching a culturally different country and adapting to the circumstances, because we have experienced these situations and that is why we want to acknowledge these heroes,” says Rafael Amezcua, member of the marketing team at FUD in the U.S.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15 to October 15, FUD will present the stories of its Real Hispanic Heroes through its website and Facebook pages.
FUD’s Real Hispanic Heroes of 2019 are:
Erica Alfaro is a 29-year-old Mexican-American with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in education from San Diego, California. Erica dedicated her studies to her Mexican farmworker parents, who taught her that studying and working hard are the keys to success.
FUD recognizes Erica because despite a difficult adolescence, becoming a young mother and a victim of domestic violence by her partner, she always remembered her mother’s words when she worked in the fields: “the only people who don’t have to go through these difficulties are those who carry out their studies”. As a result, Erica returned to school, graduated, and, while working to support her son, continued her studies until she obtained her master’s degree.
“I want to inspire the Hispanic community, so that we feel proud of our origin, our roots, and our strength to get ahead,” said Alfaro, one of FUD’s Real Hispanic Heroes of 2019.
Dominique Navarro and Michelle Jaramillo are part of the leadership council of Latinas Giving Circle in San Diego, California, a philanthropic network of Latino women seeking to preserve values, promote culture, and create opportunities for the Hispanic community.
FUD recognizes Dominique and Michelle as Real Hispanic Heroes for their sense of community, seeking to help and support constantly. Hispanic families are traditionally generous and that is something that is taught and practiced.
“Our family opened the door, now it is our responsibility to keep it open, so that the next generation has the same opportunities, or even better than we had,” said Dominique and Michelle.
Sergio Sandoval is a NASA Aerospace Engineer who works at the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, California. To fulfill his dream of reaching the stars, Sergio had to live away from his family, learn a new language and new customs, while maintaining his sense of self and Hispanic heritage.
FUD recognizes Sergio because on his journey to achieving his dream of working at NASA, the he relied heavily on the support of the Hispanic community. He received the support, strength, and inspiration that motivated him to overcome any challenge that has been presented to him, because he knows he is not alone.
“NASA is not a U.S. organization, NASA is world organization, because everything we discover changes textbooks in any country. It is an example of what we can do when we are united,” said Sergio.
Dante Alvarado is a 24-year-old who promotes the development of the Hispanic community in San Francisco through entrepreneurship. He is the founder of two projects, Mentor Room and Latinas Engineering Leadership Program, both aimed at providing support to Hispanics seeking to break through in the technology industry.
FUD recognizes Dante because he has proven to be a leader, a mentor, and a guide who keeps the doors open for those in need.
“Hispanics are born with an entrepreneurial spirit, we are creative thinkers, we are problem solvers. These skills allow us to survive in difficult times,” says Dante.
Mayra Hernández and Jesse Iniguez are inspiring future generations of entrepreneurs with their Back of the Yards Coffee business in Chicago, by showing that community support leads to success.
FUD recognizes Mayra and Jesse as Real Hispanic Heroes for giving back to their community. Back of the Yards is located in a neighborhood of immigrants, mostly Hispanic, and their cafeteria is a meeting place that sources baked goods locally, and offers a gallery promoting Hispanic culture.
“Today families are very different, we have the blood family and the family we adopt, and this community is like a family to us, that’s why it is so important to help each other to get ahead,” Mayra and Jesse explain.
Cecilia Polanco used pupusas, a typical dish from El Salvador to create education opportunities by granting scholarships to immigrants and undocumented students with the support of her family in Durham, North Carolina.
FUD celebrates Cecilia because she turned the dish of a country into hope for many people who want to move forward; she named her project Pupusas For Education.
“It all started with a very simple thought: we are going to make pupusas, we are going to sell pupusas, and we are going to give scholarships. That is how we have helped many young people in our community,” says Cecilia.