Born and raised in Guatemala, Juan Guzman Noguera has been in the U.S. since he started college in 2014. He’s been part of our health ministry as a performance improvement engineer for nearly three years.
Honoring His Hispanic Heritage
Guzman Noguera celebrates his culture and heritage through cooking and sharing with other friends of all backgrounds and cultures. He tries to visit his home country at least once a year.
Keeping Connections Through Food
Food is a way to connect, both to our own culture and to experience others’ cultures. Guzman Noguera’s favorite family tradition aligns with his favorite cultural dish: making Christmas tamales.
“Most Central American countries have different versions of the tamal,” Guzman Noguera says. “Our Guatemalan savory version, which is my favorite, is made out of corn masa which traditionally is made from Nixtamal (corn that has been cooked with lye and ground), lard, and chicken stock.”
Guatemalan Savory Tamales
- Cook the corn masa until it is the consistency of oatmeal.
- Assemble the tamale: fill plantain leaves with masa, a piece of pork rib or chicken, an almond, an olive, and a strip of bell pepper.
- Top with recado, which is a sauce made from roasted tomatoes, peppers, onion, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.
- Steam the tamales for four hours, then serve with a bit of lime and French bread.
A Healthcare Career
Healthcare is part of Guzman Noguera’s family tradition as well, and he’s proud to carry it on.
“My grandfather was an emeritus professor of biometry, genetics, and pathology, and head of a pathology department in the 1980s,” Guzman Noguera says. “As a PhD in statistics, he inspired me to know I could participate in healthcare and help others even without a clinical degree.”
Guzman Noguera plans to continue his career supporting frontline team members.
Our DEI Commitment
Our ministry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion supports culturally competent care education for our team members all year long, including during Hispanic Heritage Month each September 15 to October 15.