Andrea Flores: Family, Food Bring Joy With Hispanic Culture
Andrea Flores, Walser Staff Accountant
Today is the final day of Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month (Sept 15 – Oct 15). We’re closing out our month of employee spotlights with a feature on Andrea Flores, Staff Accountant at Walser Corporate. In her interview, Andrea shared more about the incredible impact her family and their traditions have made on the life she lives today.
As the days of fall slowly fade away, we’re quickly approaching the holiday season that Walser’s Andrea Flores looks forward to the most—Christmas. Flores, who identifies as Mexican American, said it’s a big holiday for her family. From family to the food and festivities, her Hispanic heritage is central to it all.
“Christmas Eve is usually a big holiday for us. Also, December 12, Virgen de Guadalupe. But Christmas time is a big time… for my family. The smells, the food like pan dulce. When I was younger, we would also watch Christmas plays at the church. I always look forward to Christmas Eve because that’s when my mom makes really good food, homemade food. She’ll make pozole or tamales or whatever we all vote on. Now that we are all older, we will also bring desserts or drinks,” Flores said. “I have a lot of memories of going to church and growing up Catholic, which is a big part of our culture.”
Flores, who supports Walser’s GM accounting channel, said family has always been a big part of her life. Her parents immigrated from Puebla, Mexico, and raised their family in Chicago, then New York before finally settling in Minnesota. Flores said that experience and a tone set by her parents shaped her views on growing up as a Mexican American.
“Hard work. Yeah, just always working and trying to move forward. My parents moved our whole family multiple times and they worked hard each time. It made me really appreciate money and to work hard for it,” she said.
Today, Flores, who speaks Spanish and English, said a focus on the past and present is what helps tie her two cultures together.
“Embracing that multiple languages are spoken. I’m slowly starting to see it now that people are speaking both languages or multiple languages. This is so helpful for those where English isn’t their first language or native language. Knowing that you can talk to someone in their native language helps to bring such a warmness and welcoming feeling,” she said.
Flores did admit that it takes more effort these days to keep her language skills alive.
“I’m losing some of my Spanish. Even though I try to speak to my parents in Spanish, there are moments where I catch myself speaking in English just because it’s easier.”
Still, Flores said that connection to staples of the Hispanic culture, like food, language, and family, make it easier to hold space across both ethnicities.
“I love dancing to music even though I’m a shy person. One of my favorite artists right now is Bad Bunny. His music is very upbeat and like rap reggaeton. Growing up, I would listen to more regional Mexican music. We would listen to whatever our parents played. For food, it’s also the ambiance that brings me joy. When my mom makes a dish that we love, everybody is in a happy mood. It brings closeness even with now having a larger family,” she said.