Hispanic Heritage Month



Mid-September marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States, a time to spotlight and appreciate the histories, cultures and contributions of citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The celebration began under President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. While other historical remembrance months begin on the first, Hispanic Heritage Month begins on the 15th as a nod to the many Latin American countries who claimed their independence from European colonial rule. Among them are Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile’s independence days are celebrated during the 30-day period as well.

This month, Greenbrier recognizes the hard work of Manuel Jose and Retina Valadez, partnership-owners of Avocado Grill and Casa Bravo and longtime Greenbrier employees in Paragould, Arkansas. Retina has worked with Greenbrier for more than 15 years as a Quality Assurance Visual Inspector. Manuel worked for Greenbrier for around 14 years while working at their first restaurant, Casa Bravo.

Retina and Manuel met in a grocery store and fell in love immediately before moving to Arkansas, where they’ve lived ever since. Through hard work and perseverance, the pair overcame several challenges when they decided to open a small business while working for Greenbrier, the biggest of which was the language barrier. Today, Manuel is fluent in English.

The busy couple says they’re motivated by their shared love of family and desire to provide for them. For them, a successful venture at either of their jobs means listening to advice from experienced colleagues, maintaining clear lines of communication and making time to spend with each other.

Greenbrier celebrates Hispanic heritage across its operations from the United States to Latin America and salutes the people who share their rich and vibrant history and cultures with us all.