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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Sharing culture and culinary delights

After a long day of flying, Piedmont Flight Attendant Jeannette Peralta opens her travel bag to enjoy a little taste of home. The smell of fresh brewed mate tea fills the air accompanied by the sweet taste of a traditional alfajore cookie which she offers to share with her fellow crew members.

“Sharing my Argentinian culture with others is important to me because it is part of who I am,” shares Jeannette proudly. Mate is a common South American infused herbal tea which is traditionally shared with others and alfajores are a traditional confection made with flour, honey, nuts and dulce de leche.

When she isn’t flying the skies, she brings in homemade empanadas for her colleagues in the Philadelphia crew room. Whether it is sharing a part of her culture with her coworkers, celebrations with friends, dancing to music from her home country, or cheering for her favorite soccer team, Jeannette is proud to celebrate her heritage year-round.

“Becoming a flight attendant has been my dream since I first visited the United States for my quinceañera at age 15,” reflects Jeannette. With only a few airlines in her home country, obtaining a job as a flight attendant was very competitive. “You had to take classes before you could even apply to be a flight attendant in Argentina,” says Jeannette. “I knew there would be more opportunities in the United States but at the time I couldn’t speak English.”

She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and taught kindergarten students for a few years before securing a job in the United States as a nanny. Jeannette cared for three children while she learned English and became accustomed to living in the United States.

Her friend and fellow Argentinian, Piedmont Flight Attendant Luli Cosentino, shared her positive experience of working for Piedmont and encouraged Jeannette to apply.

Shortly after, Jeannette joined Piedmont as a flight attendant in March 2023 and not only speaks fluent English but also American Sign Language. Her native language has been useful to communicate with Spanish-speaking passengers.

She highlights that being a teacher and a flight attendant are similar. “To my students, I was the only person responsible for teaching them and assisting them while they were in my care. As a solo flight attendant on the Embraer 145, I teach the passengers how to be safe and prepare for a possible emergency. I am responsible for ensuring they know the process while they are on my flight.”

When she isn’t working on a Sunday, you can find Jeannette enjoying traditional asado, or barbeque, with her friends and family while cheering for her favorite soccer team. “Many celebrations in my culture are centered around family, food, music and soccer,” shares Jeannette.

“I love when people ask me where I am from so I can talk about my country and cultural traditions. It’s my roots and if you see me, ask me!”

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