Honoring National Hispanic Heritage Month: Rina Amaya Pena

September 28, 2023

Rina Amaya Pena is all about building a prosperous and healthy community at work and at home. She is a dining services director for Eurest. Originally from El Salvador, she lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her three daughters. “I’m very proud to be Hispanic. I love my culture, the food, and the music,” Rina says. “The best thing is meeting people from other countries and relating to them through food and traditions.”

Rina loves meeting people from Latin countries and trading recipes. “My favorite recipe is panes con pollo, a Salvadorean chicken sandwich that we make for birthday and holiday celebrations,” Rina adds. It is one of three Salvadorean staples that she likes to recommend. The two others are pupusa, a flour tortilla stuffed with pork, beans and cheese, and flour tamales with chicken. And if you’re wondering what dish she enjoys preparing from another Latin country, it’s pollo con tajadas, a popular Honduran street food that includes crispy chicken and slices of fried plantains.

Rina began her career as a frontline associate and over the years has appreciated the mentoring and growth challenges that Compass Group has provided on her career journey. She is now a mentor to others and offers this advice to Hispanic women entering the culinary field: “Work hard. Even though you may not think something is possible, do not give up. Go to the end. You can make it happen!”

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month is important to Rina. “We all need to learn about Hispanic people who have achieved and succeeded in their goals and made a difference in this country.” And that includes Rina Amaya Pena!