Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Lilivette Rivera
Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized from September 15 - October 15
Lilivette Rivera has worked at St. Luke’s Hospital in Food and Nutrition Services for five years.
With both of her parents born in Puerto Rico, before coming to New England when they were in their teens, Lilivette shared how meaningful Hispanic Heritage Month is to her and her family.
“The most important thing is knowing where you come from,” she says. “Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate your heritage and keep the heritage alive, particularly through music, history and most of all, the food.”
Lilivette moved to New Bedford with her parents when she was just three years old and graduated from New Bedford Vocational Technical High School. Similar to her parents, Lilivette’s husband was also born in Puerto Rico, but grew up in Hartford, Connecticut.
At home, they make sure to celebrate both Hispanic and American traditions and cultures, especially when celebrating holidays. “Thanksgiving is a good example of how we celebrate both cultures,” she says. “We always have the turkey, but the ‘pernil’ [pork shoulder] is the really special part of the meal. Some of the other foods are from the Hispanic tradition like yellow rice and the flan and arroz con dulce [sweet rice].”
It is also important to Lilivette that her children learn to be bilingual. Speaking both languages at home helps them continue their culture, and connect to where they are from. In the future, she and her husband look forward to taking their children back to see relatives and the Puerto Rican countryside.
At Southcoast Health, Lilivette enjoys her work and does a range of things including serving on the patient line, helping in the cafeteria, and more. She enjoys working with her team and in the future, she is looking to take on responsibilities that will help advance her career into a more clinical direction.
Thank you, Lilivette!