By Anna Ortiz, International Program Director
One of the most recently adopted United Nations resolutions, International Translation Day was established in 2017 to be celebrated every September 30th. This day pays tribute to bilingual professionals, generational interpreters, and anyone trying to bridge connections across language barriers.
International Translation Day recognizes the work of language professionals and the role they play in facilitating dialogue, global cooperation, and development. At Esperança, our work would be hindered without translation because it is essential in sharing our community’s stories and delivering services. Esperança has prevailed for 50 years not only because of the great work we do, but also because we have effectively communicated the stories of people who have been transformed by our work. The process teaches us humility in collaboration, a lesson, tried and true, for Esperança and our partners.
Translation is a key factor during Esperança’s international surgical missions. I have had the privilege and responsibility to translate during several of our missions, a role I take very seriously. My favorite part is translating for patients in the operating room. I am the liaison between the patient and surgeon and between the surgeon and the local staff. The connection ensures clear and correct communication during surgery and helps build bonds between international volunteers and local hospital staff – a unique and special process indeed.
Esperança oversees surgical missions to Latin American countries every year, where bilingual volunteers and staff are essential to success. Thank you to everyone contributing to cross-cultural development and strengthening world connections.