Volunteer Spotlight: Bernadette & Emmanuel Hernandez

While it has not been uncommon for wives and husbands to have volunteered together at the Homestead, the pairing of siblings is another matter. In this case, Bernadette and Emmanuel Hernandez are actually carrying out a family tradition because older siblings (Jose and Esmerelda) preceded them and served as their inspiration. Both Bernadette and Emmanuel began their service to the Homestead while in high school, and now, well into their college years, they are taking on more of a commitment to the museum by training to become docents. This brother and sister have such a good grip on time management that they make room tor the museum in their demanding schedules.

Emmanuel and Bernadette Hernandez
Never a dull moment around these two! Emmanuel and Bernadette Hernandez are carrying on a family tradition of volunteerism.

Volunteering at the Homestead Museum has become a family tradition. Both of you started in 2011, while in high school, but your older siblings predated you by about a decade. What are some of your first memories of the Homestead?

Some of our first memories of the Homestead are attending the festivals with our parents, enjoying the craft and game tables, and being fascinated by the pond and the koi fish. We remember seeing photos from our sister’s quinceañera at the famous gazebo.

You have both volunteered at multiple Homestead festivals. Name some of your favorites, and explain why you’d recommend them to others.

Bernadette: My favorite festival is Ticket to the Twenties. There is so much to see and do with fashion shows, vendors, silent movies, and tours. You definitely would not be bored at any of the festivals.

Emmanuel: I don’t have a favorite festival; all the festivals are great and entertaining. There are so many activities a person can do. I like working in the games area, mainly the ping pong tables. I have met some amazing people at these festivals throughout the years, and having guests remember me is a feeling I will never forget.

How do you describe the Homestead to your friends?

Bernadette: The museum is a unique visit, because it contains two houses. I am a big fan of architecture and design, so I would tell them in much detail as possible how amazing La Casa Nueva is. The Homestead is a family. Everyone is so sweet, encouraging, and understanding.

Emmanuel: I would tell them about the festivals and the tours they offer, and inform them about the two houses: La Casa Nueva and the Workman House. I would also fill them in on my different tasks as a volunteer at the Homestead.

You are both wrapping up several months of docent training. What are you most excited and nervous about as you step into this new role?

We are excited to become docents; our older siblings were both docents. We are following in the new family tradition. We are both nervous about giving tours and, of course, our final tour evaluations. Juggling school, work, and other extracurricular activities makes it difficult, but we are doing it and we are getting there. It would be such an accomplishment all together. We are happy to be a part of the Homestead community.


Thanks to Public Programs Assistant, Craig Chyrchel, for chatting with this dynamic duo!

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