Edwin Rodriguez, Community Support Supervisor from Employment and Business Services-Brooklyn, shares reflections about his Puerto Rican and Spanish heritage.

If my childhood had a scent, it was the delicious homemade cooking from my Guela’s (Grandmother’s) kitchen, with the ingredients and spices that represented our roots in Puerto Rico and Spain. My family set the example because they were very proud of their culture. They loved to give back to those in need. Jesus was the center of their lives and music was an important part our of family. That is what Hispanic Heritage means to me: to love deeply, give back to people, eat delicious foods, worship our creator, and sing with joy!

My cultural heritage helps me to support people with disabilities because I want to give them what I received growing up, which is love, support, and encouragement. My family was very proud of their heritage and I want the people I support to be proud of their identity, their accomplishments, and proud of who they are.

I love the dish, bistec encebollado, a marinated beefsteak combined with onion sauce, and large onion rings on top. The delicious flavors come from marinating the meat for a long period of time. I usually like eating this with white rice on the side with some of the meat sauce poured over it.

My favorite musical artist from my country is gospel singer JoAnn Rosario. My favorite song is a duet she did called “Satisfy My Soul.”