Interpretation Resources

The following businesses and associations provide interpretation services. They are listed only as a resource, and their listing here should not be implied in any way as an endorsement of skill level.

ActiVoz Interpreting Group

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, this group has several interpreters who provide service in Akateco, Ixil, Kanjobal, and Mam.

Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services

BRYCS has useful resources and connections in the Mayan immigrant community particularly on health issues. Two particular resources include Maya Health Toolkit for Medical Providers and Children of the Guatemalan Maya: A Handbook for Teachers. The health toolkit web page includes videos on diabetes and prenatal care in Ki’che’, Mam, and Q’anjob’al.

Language Line

This commercial service allows anyone with a credit card to connect with trained professional interpreters fluent in more than 200 languages. Interpreters are available 24/7/365 and the cost is $3.95 a minute. Translation is available for Kanjobal, K’iche, and Mam.

Mayavision

Established in 1998 by Mayan refugees primarily from Guatemala, Maya Vision was created to organize the displaced Mayan community in Los Angeles and provide holistic support for individuals and families faced with the many common struggles that are present for Mayans seeking refuge in the United States.  Composed of a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual group of leaders representing several of the 13 different ethnic Mayan groups, Maya Vision exists to bring together community members so they can support each other and provide translation services in areas of health, law, education, and employment.

Mayavision
1609 James M Wood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90015
213-382-6218

Maya Heritage Community Project

“The Interpreters Network maintains a national list of Maya interpreters who have been recommended by our Maya advisors; and we continually receive requests from around the United States for the various Maya languages. The Network was initially established to support the National Health Toolkit for Medical Providers but also works to connect people in legal cases. Sixteen interpreters received professional training in interpretation with funds received from the Migration and Refugee Service of the United States Catholic Bishops; and we hope to secure future funding for additional trainings. Needs for Maya interpreters remain high throughout the United States, especially for children and women who speak little or no Spanish. The network endeavors to recommend Maya speakers screened for language legitimacy, ethics, and cultural congruency; help preserve the Maya languages; and promote respect and dignity for the Maya. Fees or expenses for interpreter services are arranged independently by the interpreters and clients; although many times we have arranged volunteer services especially in the local area.”

National Maya Interpreters Network

“The mission of the National Maya Interpreters Network is to help find Maya Interpreters for a variety of situations which may include medical and courtroom settings. Our goal is to support the Maya community in health-care and legal justice when difficulties develop with language communication. The National Maya Interpreters Network was created with the help of Pastoral Maya and the National Maya Consejo.”

Vida Digna Guatemala

Colectivo Vida Digna /A Dignified Life is made up of experts in the areas of Guatemalan migration, local and indigenous culture, and psychosocial care for youth and families in rural areas. We are part of the Guatemalan Child Return and Reintegration Project – GCRRP, a bi-national network coordinating family reunification and reintegration of unaccompanied immigrant youth who were detained in the United States and are returning to Guatemala.  Our program Youth and Migration was created in 2010 and is based on the expressed needs of young people in order to increase their opportunities in an adverse socio-political context.

Wuqu’ Kawoq | Maya Health Alliance

Wuqu’ Kawoq is a nongovernmental organization committed to facilitating excellence and linguistic competence in medical care delivery in indigenous Guatemala. While it focuses on the intersection of indigenous language rights and health, it has a network of Kaqchikel and K’iche interpreters, including some who currently live in the United States.

Do You Know an Interpreter or Interpretation Agency?

Write any ideas you have in the comments.

11 thoughts on “Interpretation Resources”

    1. I am looking for an interpreter to translate q’anjobal to english. This office is court appointed to represent a defendant who only speaks q’anjobal. Because it is court-appointed, we have to first get authorization so the state will pay the fee. We understand that this will have to be done telephonically.

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  1. I am a professional interpreter for Kaqchikel to Spanish as well as English. I have worked as a court interpreter in the U.S. and have a certificate in Mayan languages from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala. Kindly communicate with me at pirirwinters@gmail.com if you would like my resume.

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  2. Hi!
    I have a question…
    At what age can someone volunteer to be an interpreter ?
    The reason why am asking this question is because I know how to speak MAM really good cuz my family and I are from Guatemala.
    (Please answer my question as soon as posible)
    Thank you

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    1. Hello, there is no age limit. I would encourage you to connect with one of the agencies that provide services and maybe they could tell you about their certification process. I hope that you pursue this! Being able to directly translate from Mam to English is a hugely valuable skill. Best wishes!

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  3. Good morning, My name is Ermelinda Martinez and I speak English, Spanish and Acateco/Q’anjobal. I’m a triligual interpreter and I’m seeking a job or agency needing a interpreter.I have 5 years experience with the School District of the Palm Beaches, Florida and I have worked with the Palm Beach county court and immigration court. If anyone knows of any place or agency please contact me at 561-577-3663.
    Thank you very much!

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