AS far as I know, there are only two other certified and academically prepared translators here and both actually only translate as an added income to their normal work. There is no organized entity of translators or interpreters that I can use as a guideline for establishing rates.
The translation market does exist. The fact that the translators who work are not certified or academically prepared or do it as an added income is not relevant. There is a market and there is a local standard, that can vary a lot from one translator to another, that's another point.
Researched the rates and how translations are charged here on this site. I decided to go by rate/word, not only based on what I have seen on the proz site but also because clients here in Honduras complain about the rates thinking that it is unfair to charge for the whole page when only 4/5 of it are full of text.
What's the standard in Honduras? In some countries it's to charge per page, in others per word.
When you charge per page it's an advantage for the translator when it's not a full page, but it also means that it's not much work. You can either fix a per word rate with a minimum charge for less than 250 words (one Chilean standard page) or a per page rate no matter how long it is (for one page). In Chile some people change the size of the fonts because usually translators charge per page. Because of that it's good to be precise and say xx/page of 250 words. So the total amount of words is just divided by 250.
My main competition, the Honduran-American Chaber of Commerce charges ca. Lps. 300.00 per page.
You see? There are established rates. They are those applied by your competitors.
What to do:
I don't know why you sound as if you were just arrived to Honduras, maybe I'm wrong. But as there seems to be few translators, you could try to meet them.
In our last PowwoW many young, new, isolated translators learnt a lot about rates. Sometimes it's just ignorance that keeps people asking for low rates.
Secondly, try to make the difference between local and international clients. Your rate can't be the same for both. And your local rate must consider what's the competition's rates. The fact that then you prefer to work for international clients is another problem.
[Edited at 2004-05-04 23:17]