Ecuador to Caterpillar, Melanie appreciates her Hispanic heritage.

For Caterpillar Financial employee Melanie, appreciating her Hispanic heritage means reflecting on the opportunities that led her to where she is today.

Melanie grew up in Quito, Ecuador. Her mother left Ecuador for the U.S. when Melanie was five years old with only $20 in her pocket. Melanie moved to the U.S. four years later, at the age of nine.

“I was so excited to be with my mom finally and to be in a new country,” she said. “I wanted to be helpful, so I learned English quickly. It helped me translate for my mother.”

As a result of her mother's hard work and determination, Melanie attended college — the first in her family to do so — where she interned for Cat Financial every summer, beginning with her first year of college.

Today, Melanie is a Caterpillar employee and a part of Caterpillar's Latino Connection (CLC) ERG. She even served as the chairperson in 2019. She gives back to the community whenever she can and shares pieces of her heritage with colleagues. Growing up, Melanie's mother told her, “We’re different, and people will judge you for it, but we're going to stay different. Our background makes us unique.”

Melanie and her mother