Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanic Americans who have made countless contributions to our country and our company. At America’s Car-Mart, we believe in honoring the richness and strength of our diversity.
And we are privileged to work with Hispanics who are passionate and enthusiastic about their culture, as well as their jobs. It’s associates like Nancy Diaz, Compliance and Audit Field Manager at Car-Mart, who loves her job and her heritage, who help make our company better.
For Nancy, it’s the little things about her Hispanic heritage that she holds near and dear to her heart.
Last year, she traveled to Mexico for her grandmother’s funeral and returned with some special items.
“I felt the need to have her with me in the U.S., in my home. I brought cooking stuff, utensils and food to help me remember my grandmother,” says Nancy. “I also brought huaraches shoes for my daughter. They’re made from used tires. You can wear them with jeans and a cute shirt. I want her to stay close to her roots.”
As we proudly observe Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s meet Nancy and learn more about what Hispanic Heritage Month means to her.
Why is your Hispanic heritage important, and why is it important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
When I hear Hispanic heritage, it means love. And it means appreciation and observance to my ancestors. It’s a time of remembrance – you don’t want to go away from your traditions and heritage. You want to pass them along to future generations. That’s very important to me.
And Hispanic Heritage Month is important because we should always remember where we came from. We should remember and practice as well. We should keep doing many things the same way as our mothers and grandmothers – to keep our heritage alive.
I want to pass my heritage along to my daughter. Together, we talk about Hispanic Heritage Month, a time we all come together to remember and observe, and really just love each other, even if we’re not Hispanic. Finally, I want my daughter to speak Spanish, so we speak it at home.
What makes you most proud of your Hispanic culture?
The hard work and strive that we have in our blood to live better. I learned this from my parents. I was raised by a single mom, and she showed me how hardworking you must be to have a better life.
My mom also taught me respect – respect other people, respect the elderly.
What are your favorite Hispanic traditions?
I love the quinceanera, a tradition we do for our 15-year-old girls, the passage from girlhood to womanhood. It’s a celebration for the entire family where we dine, eat, and have a good time. We look at the girl’s dress and the food. The honoree dances and practices with a groomsman and they dance a surprise dance in front of everyone. It’s a time for a family to say, ‘here’s my daughter; she’s become a woman now.’ It’s a very special occasion.
At my oldest sister’s quinceanera, we danced all night. My daughter, Kayleen, is 12 years old, and we are already planning her quinceanera!
My other favorite Hispanic tradition is the Day of the Dead, a celebration of life and death. We celebrate the entire month after Halloween. We remember our family members who passed away. We put candles, flowers, fruits and candy on their gravestones.
And when it comes to Hispanic food, my favorite is tacos al pastor. I, also, enjoy Menudo and ceviche – any type of ceviche – fish, meat.
Moving to you personally, what’s your Car-Mart story?
When I needed a full-time job, I heard Car-Mart in Mt. Pleasant, Texas needed an office clerk. With no auto or sales experience, I was hired on the spot on October 13, 2013. Two months later, I was promoted to office manager and shortly after that, I became senior office manager. For seven years, I learned and mastered my position.
In September 2020, I took a job at Car-Mart’s corporate office as a compliance and audit field manager. I have 31 Car-Mart’s in my area of responsibility. I was offered this job twice before finally taking the job on the third offer. I saw that as a sign of God. I love my job.
Now I want to master this position and keep moving up. Car-Mart is a great company to work for. It’s a company that will teach you, and you can move up the ladder.
How would you encourage other Hispanics to move up at Car-Mart?
To see their self-worth in the company. To really learn and master their position. Learn the processes because knowledge is power. I encourage other associates, especially office clerks. I always tell my story and tell them to master their position and just go for it.
What do you and your family do for fun?
Kayleen, my husband, Manuel, and I love to eat at new places. We check out Google reviews and go to the restaurant that is top-rated, and then we rate the restaurant. We do the same thing with parks. We enjoy bike-riding; we’re outdoors people.
What can we do to create a more inclusive world?
By being more welcoming of other races and ethnicities. Our work is related to the world. You’re at your job more than you are at home. Your work associates become your second family. So, it’s important we all respect each other.
Join our team!
If you’re awesome and want to work with awesome people like Nancy, come work at Car-Mart. Go to Car-Mart.com/careers to learn about job opportunities at Car-Mart in our 12-state area.