Here at Promise we are happy to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month and highlight the Hispanic population that we serve in the community.
Each year, National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15, as a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively which falls within this 30-day period.
This month is especially dear to me since it highlights the accomplishments of my Hispanic brothers and sisters. As the daughter of a Mexican immigrant, I have personally witnessed the extensive contributions of the Hispanic population within our growing communities. Over the last few years, the cultural richness has also pushed for the expansion of bilingual services offered in our hospitals as well as businesses. It is great to see the health centers in Northwest Iowa provide interpreting services and bilingual materials for their patients. Going back 16 years when my family originally moved to Northwest Iowa, there was a lack of interpreting services for the Spanish speaking population. There was not a big push for having medical instructions or documents in Spanish, so it fell upon the English-speaking children of the household to translate/interpret important instructions for their parents.
I was one of those children growing up, having to interpret for my parents at medical appointments, the grocery store or city office. This inspired me to pursue a career in the interpreting field in order to help those who might find themselves in a similar situation. I was able to attend Northwestern College with the support and sacrifice of my parents in order to pursue this career. There, I got my Bachelor of Arts and majored in Spanish Translation and Interpreting. I then achieved national certification through the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters.
As I mentioned earlier, I chose this career because my goal was to be the bridge to communication between medical provider and Spanish speaking patients. I wanted family members of the patients to sit back and be able to be there as a support system and not have to worry about interpreting for them. It is my pleasure as the Interpreting Services Coordinator here at Promise to keep pushing for better and more inclusive services towards our Hispanic population.