A Translator’s Story: Guillermo reflects

Hello Friends of SIA! As a busy summer comes to an end, the SIA community reflects on the wonderful work that has been done in South America this year.  One of our amazing translator’s, Guillermo Columbus Serpa, takes a moment to think about the impact SIA has had on his life…

If I were to write about my experience with Solidarity in Action and how much I have grown with their help, I would need to write a book. One of the things I thank God for is the privilege to be a part of  the life changing experiences Solidarity in Action volunteers go through.

As I have shared with some of them, my life is full of challenges. I have found a lot of hypocrisy, fake relationships and indifference in our society, and this left me with nothing but unanswered questions. As a response, I decided to move on and start my process of self-growth.

Not long ago, a friend offered me the opportunity to be a translator with her for SIA. I had never actually spoken in English for more than an hour, and suddenly I found myself  in front of forty unknown foreigners staring at me, expecting me to translate every single word they heard from the welcoming community who, by the way, did not seem to understand the concept of “They don’t speak Spanish”.

As my first week went by, I realized that I was not and could not be just a translator, I was involved. The reaction I could see in the look of every single volunteer reminded me of my own experiences, but the smiles in children’s faces seemed to be new. They were not only thankful because of the construction projects, or the English classes; they felt, they knew we could all be as one. That is solidarity. That is humanity.

I have found a lot of answers, and new questions too. I can say that more than translating, my job is to be a strong bridge between two hearts: a needed heart and a solidarity one, both willing to share everything they have.  I am so ready to be that bridge.

-Guillermo

Guillermo in Pacifico de Villa this May
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3 thoughts on “A Translator’s Story: Guillermo reflects

  1. Guillermo — thanks for your thoughts here, and I am happy to hear that you have some longer-term connection with SIA — and that it has been such a good experience for you. You are a strong, humorous, and good young man. Good to know you. Robert Feagan

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