National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 to honor and celebrate the history, culture, influence, achievements and contributions of U.S. Latino and Hispanic communities. To help commemorate this wonderful month, meet Patient Transporter Melissa Duran.
Melissa is a native Ecuadorian born and raised in “Quito,” the capital of Ecuador. She describes her country as being located in the middle of the world with more than 70 volcanos, with 27 of them still active.
Using a statement once said by German geographer Alexander Von Humboldt, she beautifully speaks of her native Ecuadorian people: “Ecuadorians are rare and unique who sleep peacefully in the middle of crunchy volcanoes, live poorly in the midst of incomparable richness and rejoice with sad music.”
Melissa arrived in the United States (Queens, NY) eight years ago in pursuit of furthering her educational goal of studying medicine and one day becoming a surgeon.
When asked what her first impression was when she arrived in America, she states, “I felt like I was in a movie when I first arrived as it was snowing and that was something new for me as I had only seen it on television.”
Melissa has diligently accomplished many successful goals since arriving in America, such as becoming bilingual; obtaining both an associate degree and bachelor’s degree in biology; and fulfilling her dream of working in a hospital setting.
One of her biggest challenges since leaving Ecuador is being far from her family and friends as they play a vital role in her life and culture.
When asked if she liked being Hispanic, she states, “Love it, because Hispanics have the flavor in our blood, romance in the language, and family in our hearts.”
Melissa is very proud of her Ecuadorian heritage and is dedicated to her culture, as she is always promoting her strong ties to Ecuador and shares the fact that she hangs an image of her country on the walls of her home for everyone to see.
Melissa’s career at Crouse is just beginning, but she has already gained a sense that Hispanic culture is well received and promoted throughout the organization.
She experiences it when she interacts with patients and coworkers within the hospital, and when they hear her strong Hispanic accent they get excited and want to speak to her in Spanish, which makes her feel good and very welcomed here at Crouse.
Crouse News is reported by members of our Communications Team.