Celebrating Diversity: How Sweet It Is!

This Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 through October 15), we have much to celebrate at U.S. Sugar. The Hispanic Americans who live and work in our community have contributed so much to our company as well as our community and our state. 

Two members of our U.S. Sugar family were featured on WPBF West Palm Beach: Jesus Hernandez and Eneyda Rios. These two represent the many Hispanic-American leaders and workers who are essential to our operations. 

Hernandez came from humble beginnings in Mexico. He started as an equipment operator at U.S. Sugar more than three decades ago. Now, as assistant harvest manager, he plays a critical role in the company’s 90th Anniversary sugarcane harvest season. 

His career at the company has enabled him to achieve his dreams. As a father of three, he is proud to have sent all of his kids to college.  While he travels to Mexico every summer for vacation, Clewiston is his home. “I love this country…. And its freedom.”

Jesus Hernandez and family

Rios works at U.S. Sugar headquarters as an executive assistant to our Senior Vice President of Sugarcane Operations.  She was born in El Salvador and came to the United States in 1985. Her mother worked in sugarcane farming first, while Rios began her career with the company as a security attendant in the Southern Gardens Citrus guardhouse 20 years ago. 

“Coming to this country,” said Rios. “It’s been the best thing that ever happened to us. This is where I plan to spend the rest of my life.”

Like Hernandez, Rios was also able to send her four children to college. Her son is now serving America as a soldier in the U.S. Army.  She believes that hard work, showing up every day, and being responsible allows you to have everything you want in life.

Enedya Rios family

My husband fled Cuba with his family when he was a baby following the Communist takeover; so my own family places great value on the many opportunities and blessings found here in America and in the Glades. My youngest son married a beautiful college classmate from Texas whose family hailed from El Salvador.  So I have both a personal and professional appreciation for the richness and strength that comes from melding different cultures, ideas, ways of thinking, and traditions from many different countries, regions, beliefs and heritages.  

It is no stretch to say that U.S. Sugar is truly a melting pot with people from countries all over the world.  Sugar is produced in more than 100 countries, and men and women with expertise in many aspects of the business have been attracted to our close-knit farming community over the years.   In our company and in our rural communities as we work and strive for common goals, it is easy to discover that we generally have more similarities than differences.  Mainly, we share the core values of faith, family, tradition, hard work, and a love for our way of life.   Raising food and families.

So this month, we are celebrating our diversity and honoring the value each and every single person brings to our U.S. Sugar family and to our Glades communities.   This rich diversity makes our communities better places to work, live and raise our families.  Muchas Gracias!

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