Mexico - Interpreter Brigade
Mexico’s Earthquakes - Interpreter Brigade (Brigada Intérpretes)
After the terrible earthquakes that hit Mexico on 9/7 and 9/19, those of us who are far away have been asking ourselves how we can help. Some of us have friends and family in one or more of the affected areas; but even if we don't, we are cognizant of the human tragedy that people are experiencing in Mexico right now. We are also aware that many painful moments are yet to come.
As interpreters and translators, we are a vital link in the communication chain which is so essential to all aid efforts. Our colleagues in Mexico are hard at work providing interpreting and translation services in all language combinations. However, as you all know, professional interpreters and translators are hard to come by, and there are many organizational and resource challenges. In addition, after the first wave of intense volunteerism, there will be a huge need for a welcome respite to those who have already spent a full week working hand-in-hand with search and rescue units, shelters, hospitals and collection points.
Next week, I will be traveling to Mexico to donate my time. Below my signature, I have included a couple of links to my professional activities so you can find out more about me, as the person organizing this initiative. Please feel free to send me an email with any questions you might have. I will personally be helping with interpreting and training needs for various groups. As an interpreter and liaison, I will work with my English<>Spanish colleagues where needed and, more specifically, I will support the work of our indigenous language colleagues in relay mode. As an interpreting professor, I will be providing emergency on-site training and orientation for indigenous language combinations, as there is a shortage of qualified interpreters for many variants. Phase 1 of these efforts will take place in Mexico City. Phase 2 will take place in of the other hardest-hit areas: Oaxaca, Morelos, Puebla or Chiapas.
This is the time to come together to support those who are less fortunate than us. I respectfully ask for your support in this endeavor. A portion of your much-needed contribution will go towards travel and lodging expenses for our out-of-country team (two certified interpreters and a communication specialist), and transportation for local volunteers. Most of the funds will be used for food, water, medication and other necessities in the areas where we will be interpreting. The more you donate, the more we’ll be able to help. Please be assured that your donations will go directly from us to the intended recipients, and will not go through any other entity. I will provide regular updates to let you know where your donations are going.
If you cannot contribute financially now, there might be other things you can do. Please send a message to my email address and I will let you know about other opportunities to help. I might not be able to check my email as often as I’d like when we start working on-site. I will get back to you as soon as time permits though.
Many thanks for your concern and generosity!
Yours in service,
Esther M. Navarro-Hall