Gustavo Machado

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1) Please explain what you do for living.

I am a senior public relations specialist at Kaiser Permanente of Georgia, a healthcare organization. My main area of responsibility is overseeing internal communications for more than 4,100 employees and clinicians.

2) How important in your identity is being Latino?

It is important, but not essential. I have assimilated to the US culture quite successfully. On the other hand, I am very aware of and support initiatives that further the Latino cause in my community and the nation, and I feel I can always provide a Latino perspective to many issues (immigration, legal status, cultural values, others).

3) Is there something that you particularly value of your nationality or being Latino?

I feel that being a native of Venezuela makes me a bit of a "sub-minority" in my city, although the current political and economical situation in the past 5 to 10 years has caused many more Venezuelans to emigrate to Atlanta. I was raised in a very open environment that embraced influences from many other cultures, which I feel differed from a few other Latino cultures (at least based on my personal experience).

4) Have you been treated differently because of being Latino (in the workplace, in public settings…etc.)? If so, can you describe a situation?

Not really. Atlanta is a "mecca" of multiple nationalities and cultures, and I've always felt welcome here and treated just like anybody else. Of course, I can always tell little stories about having to spell out my name every other time, or being called "Mister Makado" here and there, but that's it -- just a matter of familiarity. Once my friends and colleagues know me and spend time with me, I am "Gus" to them and all goes well.