We are proud to celebrate Latino Heritage Month through recognizing the many achievements, diverse cultures, and histories of the Latino community. 

In California, Latino communities represent the majority of the population at 39% and make up almost 70% of families served through our work at First 5 Contra Costa. Each year from September 15 to October 15, we honor Latino heritage and the many voices that have greatly contributed to and enriched our shared communities.

Ruth Fernández, Ed.D., Executive Director at First 5 Contra Costa, shares:

“Being an immigrant and a proud Latino Executive are two important social identities in my life. Having navigated the complexities of being a newcomer in another country, I find drive and inspiration in helping others accomplish their dreams. When I arrived from El Salvador at the age of 17, many people said ‘no’ to my dreams. I didn’t give up. I found people who said ‘yes’ and opened a door. There are always helpers around us, there is always an opening.

My parents taught me not only to dream, but about hope and courage through their own sacrifices. I feel privileged to serve and give back through my work at First 5 Contra Costa; it’s an opportunity to support families in achieving the dreams and hopes for their children.”

Throughout the month, we will continue to proudly shine the light on the gifts shared by our diverse team and the Latino community. At First 5, we want to reaffirm that our community is made stronger through the many cultures, traditions, and values that help our collaborative efforts to realize a more equitable and inclusive Contra Costa County. 

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