I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Since Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States, it is required to learn English as part of your curriculum; some people take it more seriously than others. I was one of the ones who took it seriously, very seriously. I read English newspapers, magazines, and better yet, music. As I left home for college, language studies were always present, and at some point, when I realized I needed to support myself, I started working while in school, in companies where English was a requisite to work for. That experience along with studies, prepared me to the biggest move of my life.
In 1991 I moved to Los Angeles, California where my mom, an English teacher, have been living and working for the last few years. By pure chance I started working, that same year, in the Fashion-Garment production industry. As a fluent Spanish-English speaker, besides doing my customer service job, my first job, I became the pointed person to translate and often the interpreter with the Spanish-speaking employees, partnered companies, and manufacturing factories. At the same time, I also helped the Human Resources department with their company manual, posters and working laws translations. This job, in fact, although never paid for, was part of my entire professional life for the next 20 years.
During this time, I also got in contact with a professional translator, who sent me jobs to translate that included how-to manuals for Webber BBQ products and more Human Resources manuals for big companies, like The Gap. These were my firsts paying jobs as a translator. This relationship lasted a few years and ever since I never stopped translating for the companies I worked for. As a production manager, I traveled to our factories situated in Central and South America, which often, needed that Spanish-speaking person to have a successful meeting with our company management. I was the one translating documents as well our phone conversations. This included pattern making, color comments, and production status and charts.
After 20 plus years in the industry I was laid off. It was the year 2012 when I found myself having to rethink what the next chapter in my life would be. I tried looking for jobs in the same industry I have been in for so long, but the prospects were not there. I was too experienced, and the competition with a much younger work force, made me to examine what I wanted to do next. I was at home doing some translation jobs, not big and getting paid very little. I have also been doing proof-reading for other translators, but nothing big. This included an autobiography book, and general documents.
While doing this I became a recipe tester, which I still do, and I also created a small catering company. I work with both English and Spanish recipes and I often translate them for friends and family. Although cooking is my passion, I realized I needed a steady income and join the work force again. Recently I got involved with a documentary feature company and I have been transcribing and translating for a new project. This involves Spanish from Mexico into English.
I still did not think I could become a professional translator until just a few months ago. I decided to join a certification program and, just recently, I became certified by The Global Translation Institute. I want to be fully emerged in language, which I now realize, it is also my passion.