At Sempra Infrastructure, we remain focused on fostering an inclusive culture where diverse backgrounds and perspectives are respected and celebrated.
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is at the core of our culture. We are proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and honor the rich culture, contributions and achievements of the Hispanic and Latin American community.
Agustin Zarate is Sempra Infrastructure’s joint venture services manager. Learn about Agustin as he shares how he lives our values and how he and his family celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Tell us about yourself and your role at Sempra Infrastructure.
My name is Agustin Zarate, and I am a joint venture services manager at Sempra Infrastructure. I have more than 15 years of experience in the Sempra family of companies, where I've had the opportunity to grow and learn in different roles and departments.
I began my career at Sempra at San Diego Gas and Electric, then joined Sempra Infrastructure as an IT project manager. I have since joined the LNG JV Operations team, where I support the joint venture operations and shared services for Sempra Infrastructure. I also help to ensure that our LNG projects run smoothly and efficiently by streamlining processes, implementing controls, improving communication and providing administrative support.
I was born in a small town in Mexico called La Piedad, Michoacan, where the people are known for their farming skills and delicious carnitas. I guess that's where I got my love for food. I enjoy trying new dishes whenever I travel with my wife and two amazing kids. I also enjoy playing golf in my spare time.
What do you enjoy most about your role? What do you find most rewarding?
I love that my role is so dynamic and diverse. I create and optimize processes and work with different people from various backgrounds. I learn a great deal from their views and perspectives. The most rewarding part is knowing how my role is important in Sempra Infrastructure’s vision to deliver energy for a better world. I feel accomplished when my team and I can streamline processes to run smoother and more efficiently.
How do you personally celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
For me, Hispanic Heritage Month is all about introducing our culture to my children. It is also about creating our family traditions, such as watching “Coco” and “The Book of Life,” as both films explore themes of family, identity, and belonging.
My wife and I also make an effort to introduce movies or documentaries that show how awesome the Hispanic and Latino culture is. We visit San Diego’s street festivals throughout the month to expose our kids to local Latin artists, live music, and of course, the food.
We also love to support Hispanic-owned businesses and groups that help our community grow. Traveling to Mexico is another way for us to immerse ourselves and learn more about our culture and traditions.
Are there specific traditions or customs you observe during the month?
One childhood memory I continue to cherish is watching Mexico's televised Independence Day celebration, El Grito, which takes place in Mexico City's Zócalo each September 16.
Just as Americans gather to celebrate the Fourth of July, Mexican families come together to watch the Mexican president shout “¡Viva México!” and celebrate their independence. To mark the occasion, my family would gather to cook and enjoy traditional dishes like pozole, tamales, and carnitas.
We also look forward to celebrating Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). On the second of November each year, we honor our loved ones who have passed away by building and displaying an ofrenda (altar) to honor and celebrate them. We place family photos, food, and drinks on our altar, and my children eagerly anticipate eating pan de muerto, a bread with deep cultural significance.
What hopes and aspirations do you have for future celebrations of Hispanic Heritage Month?
Hispanic Heritage Month provides an opportunity to highlight the diversity of Hispanic and Latino communities in the United States. Their experiences and perspectives are an important part of America's story. It is a time to share and embrace the richness of our culture and heritage.
I hope to see greater awareness and appreciation for Hispanic Americans. Celebrating our diverse perspectives and backgrounds strengthens communities and enriches our society, and this celebratory month allows us to recognize how Hispanic Americans help our country thrive.