Hispanic and Proud Spotlight: Coach Joe Murillo

Photo courtesy Coach Joe Murillo

This “Hispanic and Proud” spotlight is Coach Joe Murillo! Coach Murillo is a second-generation Cuban and Mexican who started working in education to be the role model he didn’t have when he was in school. 

“I didn’t see other Latino teachers in school growing up. Maybe my influence could get others into the field,” said Murillo. 

Aside from lack of representation, part of the struggle for immigrant families is the sudden change of society and language. They immerse themselves into a new setting and accustom themselves to the normalities, all while still honoring their heritage. 

For many Hispanic and/or Latino families, the continuation of culture is the best way to honor their heritage. This can include passing down family dishes or holiday traditions that are unique to their country or region. Some countries’ values are rooted in ancient civilizations like the Mayan and Aztec, which also have very unique customs.

“Everyone asks why I keep the long hair, and that’s to pay homage to my Aztec roots,” Murillo said. “I also cherish the past traditions that have been in our families and enjoy some customs related to the holidays,” he added. 

He continues giving back to his community by being the representation that it needs. 

“It matters because we need positive influences,” said Murillo.

See more from our series on Hispanic Heritage Month here (link to follow).

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