In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we sought out some of our wonderful Hispanic sisters to give us a little insight into their life as a Hispanic Woman in Roofing. Today we have answers from Vanessa Larios representing Mexico!

Name and Title:
Vanessa Larios, Roofing Contractor and Owner of Skyland Roofing LLC

Business Name and Location:
Skyland Roofing LLC
Tucson, Arizona

What do you embrace and love most about your culture?
Family is a part of Mexican culture; it is our responsibility or duty to prioritize your time with yours. It is important to attend family reunions, dinners, events and make sure you invite your familia to your own gatherings. Mariachi, singing, and dancing will always bring life to the party and shows great Mexican pride. We do not forget the dancing to that beat. I love the beautiful art and mostly that we can hang in our homes to reflect heritage and culture. It is always a pleasure to remind yourself of your roots and an opportunity to bring some love and life to your room.

What is something you want others to know about your heritage?
Heritage places a great part in my life. Heritage describes my family identity. One of the best heritage that was made legacy is the San Xavier del Bac Mission, a National Historic Landmark, is in Tucson Arizona, where I live now. It was founded in 1700 by Father Eusebio Kino, a Jesuit explorer who worked to spread Christianity in New Spain. Father Kino was the resident priest at Mission Dolores in Magdalena, Sonora. He passed away while waiting for his replacement. He brought European culture to southern Az. Each year we travel to Magdalena, Sonora to celebrate the feast of Father Kino patron saint, and to honor his contributions to O’odham life and culture.
(Information From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Have you faced any challenges in your life because of your ethnicity?
One of the challenges I have experienced is being criticized for speaking Spanish or being told to go back to my home country. I was born in Nogales, Southern Arizona, a border town, in Santa Cruz County. Most of the population there speaks Spanish. I believe that experiencing discrimination or unfair treatment because we are Hispanic does not change who we are or what we can do in other people’s life or communities. Hispanics are shaping the future of the United States. Almost one-fifth of the US population is Hispanic. The Latino community is becoming increasingly important to the economy, culture, and politics of the United States. (By the Center for American Progress and Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas). We are uno (one).

Who has been an inspiring figure of Hispanic descent throughout your life? How or why has this person made an impact?
Luis Parra is of Hispanic Heritage. Born in Nogales Arizona. Luis Parra, who is my mother’s brother, my uncle, has been my inspiring figure of Hispanic descent throughout my life. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in 1955 and a J.D. from Arizona State University in 1999. He works as an attorney at law. He also served in the United States Army from 1989-1992. He served as a member of the state bar of Arizona, the United States Federal Bar, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He has experience in working as an attorney with the City of Nogales, City of Tucson, and Santa Cruz County along with his work on cross-border socio-economic issues for the past 20 years is unique among the candidates for AZLD2. He has always served Southern Arizona. He is rich in history and heritage and committed to maintaining the vitality and sustainability of our community and region. He is a HERO to me and our whole family.

Luis Parra has made a great impact on my life because he has been the best role model for me. He is a man of faith. A great father to his children. A great husband, a great uncle, a great brother, and a great son. He has provided support and encouragement to all. He is loyal and he is always doing what is right. As a child, he did have his struggles and challenges but overall was able to overcome them all. I am very proud of him for all he has done in his life. One of the things I learned from him is, “That the person that acts in good faith lives in good faith”. It is knowing not to do bad in people. He has made an impact in my life as I have used his advice to have more success in my emotional life, business career, and my leadership process. Thank You, Luis Parra.

What is your favorite way to celebrate your heritage?
My favorite way to celebrate my heritage is by celebrating El Dia De Los Muertos. During Day of the Dead, October 31 through November 2, families gather to remember and honor their deceased loved ones. Day of the Dead traditions includes food and flowers, visits with family members, prayers, and stories about those who have died. As a family, we create an altar. It is believed that spirits consume the essence and the aroma of the foods that are offered. When the spirits depart, the living consumes the food and share it with their family, friends, and neighbors. Items that are placed on the altar include sugar skulls, often with the person’s name inscribed, pan de muerto, a special bread that is made especially for the season, and marigolds that bloom at this time of year and lend a special fragrance to the altar.