National Hispanic Heritage Month is a month dedicated to celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. It is observed each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
DCYF is proud to have foster and kinship caregivers who represent different ethnicities, backgrounds and identities. This month DCYF is highlighting Hispanic caregivers from across the state, read a summary of their profiles below.
Name: Sylvia & Noe Cardenas
Location: Tri-Cities, WA
Licensed for: about 2 years
Why did you become a caregiver? My sister had a baby and long-story-short the state was involved so she requested that our newborn niece be placed with us. That’s where we began our foster journey. We did relative placement for a while and finally decided if we became licensed. We currently do respite care and my niece has been back with her mom for about a year now.
Traditions: We are really about family. We have Sunday dinners that continue to this day. Our extended family, of about a dozen. It’s a beautiful thing to have aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces come together for dinner every week. I’m not sure if it’s our culture (Mexican) but it’s important for us to live near each other so that we can help and support each other.
Name: Dulcy & Alejandro Hernandez
Location: Kirkland, WA
Licensed for: the last 3 years
Why did you become a caregiver? God asked us to. The bible says to take care of the vulnerable. It was not a question it was something we needed to do. Both my husband and I come from a background where there was random divorce We wanted to be able to offer a home with a mom and a dad for children to have a stable place.
Traditions: General traditions revolve around Mexican food and speaking Spanish in our home. We actually had a kid who was Mexican and didn’t speak very much English but because we spoke Spanish, we were able to translate so he ended up learning more English. It was special because other families who had him couldn’t communicate with him the way we did and we were able to connect with him through culture.
Name: Shannon and Hector Blancas
Location: Concrete, WA
Licensed for: Over a year
Why did you become a caregiver? We saw there was a need and wanted to do some volunteer work. We wanted to help our community, which led to doing something that would help out children. We also have a license to adopt.
Traditions: Husband does not speak English, I learned Spanish 20 years ago. Our daughters are Hispanic. We’ve taken in children who don’t speak English and we try to make it easier for them through the food they recognize and the language. Language is big. We also have family dinners on weekends where we make traditional Hispanic foods like tamales, posole and homemade tortillas. Our externded family becomes their extended family. Little things make a difference like hearing music in Spanish or watching cartoons in Spanish.