September 15, 2021
Gap Inc. Heritage Month events are rooted in our values and focused on celebrating our employees, customers, and communities. Today marks the start of National Latinx Heritage Month (LHM), which is celebrated in the United States from September 15 to October 15.
This year, Gap Inc.'s LHM theme is "Generational Greatness," an opportunity for us to celebrate the expansiveness and interconnectedness of the Latinx community as well as the importance of familial ties that represent the heritage of the community.
Latin America includes the entire continent of South America and Mexico, Central America, and the islands of the Caribbean (that speak a Romance language). While the 33 countries that create Latin America have many similarities, they each have their own culture and traditions unique to their history and experiences.
In honor of the month, we are excited to introduce our new HOLA@Gap Inc. Equality and Belonging Group Co-Chairs, Moises Mendez and Paul Lehto. Moises has held multiple roles at Old Navy for the last 15 years and he is currently the Field SOMO Director. Paul is newer to Old Navy and brings his passion and expertise as he leads the Old Navy West Territory field HR team.
When asked what celebrating Latinx Heritage Month means to them, Moises and Paul said:
“As Guatemalan immigrants, my parents came to this country in search of a better life. Once here, strangers in our new neighborhood, who later became part of our family, were there to help my parents feel welcome. These amazing people fed us, helped us, and even gave my dad his first car to get to work. As a kid, my neighborhood raised me. I was raised by Mexicans, Salvadorians, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans. Recently, I had the opportunity to lead our [Old Navy] teams in Mexico. I was received with open arms. Mexico taught me how to be a better leader and person. This is why I have a tremendous love and appreciation for Latinx culture. It made me who I am.” — Moises Mendez, Co-Chair of HOLA@Gap Inc. Equality and Belonging Group
“This month provides the opportunity to showcase the pride and beauty of our culture through storytelling, art, music, food and history. As a Mexican American, I feel fortunate to combine my different backgrounds into one with my family, influencing who I am today. My family celebrates who we are through the meals we cook, music we listen to, languages spoken, and countless traditions which we also invite our friends to be a part of. I love how my children are able to experience the culture I grew up in and teach them to take pride in their heritage.” — Paul Lehto, Co-Chair of HOLA@Gap Inc. Equality and Belonging Group