As a Latina and an only child, I have always felt the deep love and responsibility that comes with continuing the legacy of pride behind one of the biggest storytellers of my heritage - my last name. My last name means more to me than just five letters, that are actually a palindrome. Salas is the last name I received from my father, the man I have always been able to count on unconditionally throughout my entire life. It is my connection to my Cuban roots, the land I never got to experience first hand, and whose air I haven't been able to breathe; but the very same culture that pulsates through my veins, and through the memories instilled there by my parents and grandparents.
My last name tells a story. It tells a story of a family who lived in Cuba and who started a new life in the United States in the early 1960s. It encases the values, morals and convictions of a hard-working man named Miguel, who met the love of his life, Martha, while in exile, married her and together they gave birth to a curly haired little girl they named Maria. Salas also holds decades of memories for me of a happy childhood surrounded by family that supported my endeavors and always made me feel that my Latina roots were a major force that shaped the person I am. I embraced that truth every time I saw my parents working hard to bring me a future of hope, despite not speaking the language and basically having to start over from scratch. If that wasn't enough, my last name brings me comfort and security, because I know that no matter what, my parents will always be with me every time somebody calls my name.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, Coca-Cola is celebrating Latino culture by highlighting this very same source of pride, our last name. Through their #OrgullosoDeSer campaign, Coca-Cola invites all of us to share a story of why our family name makes us unique and #OrgullosoDeSer #[InsertLastName]. It makes a lot of sense that Coca-Cola would be a part of this special time of year with us, since they have been present throughout so many of the important moments in Hispanics families' lives. I know for us they were even a part of my daughter's Quince pictures, when she insisted on taking a photograph during her shoot, sipping her favorite soda.
To kick-off this campaign, Coca-Cola created a unique film that embraces the feelings of pride our last names bring us. Families in the the film share their individual stories and history, and display their pride by applying a temporary tattoo of their last name using the Coca-Cola Heritage Tattoo can. It's a touching tribute to all Latinos that brings to life the passion we feel about who we are.
I know many of you would enjoy a similar nostalgic experience and Coca-Cola is offering you the opportunity to live it. You can purchase your very own personalized bottle by visiting Coca-Cola's website at www.coke.com/OrgullosoDeSer. I absolutely love displaying my Share a Coke contour bottle personalized with my last name and I know you will too. Bottom line - I'm proud of who I am and I want the world to know it. Oh and don't forget to join Coca-Cola and I, in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by sharing your #OrgullosodeSer #[InsertLastName] with your family and friends on your social media platforms. Hasta pronto...