WT Spanish Program to Offer Training for Area Interpreters


CANYON, Texas —West Texas A&M University’s Spanish program is partnering with an Amarillo nonprofit to offer a training session for area interpreters.

WT’s Translators in Residence, a community-facing project organized by Spanish-program faculty and students that explores the professional applications of bilingualism, will host “Best Practices in Community Interpretation” at 12:30 p.m. May 1 at The PLACE Multicultural Community Center, 3107 Plains Blvd., Suite 500, in Amarillo.

The PLACE—which stands for The Place for Language, Art, Culture & Economic Growth—offers support for resettled and new refugees in Amarillo.

More than 30 community interpreters from across the diverse population of the Amarillo area are expected to take part through the Refugee Language Project in Amarillo. Such interpreters help residents navigate health, legal and financial services available to them.

“Unlike professional translators, community interpreters typically have little formal training on how to fulfill their roles,” said Juan Garcia Oyervides, assistant professor of Spanish. “This semester, we worked with students to reflect on their personal experience growing up as cultural mediators for their families and communities, and researched the common issues facing community interpretation. Our aim is to share the outcome of this process with the interpreter community in Amarillo and bring awareness to how multilingual education can strengthen the development of our students and surrounding communities in the Texas Panhandle.”

The Translators in Residence project recently won the Innovative Academic Program Award from WT’s Student Government Association.

Addressing regional challenges is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $120 million.


Photo: Translators in Residence student members Joy Rosas, a senior health sciences major from Houston, left, and Lizett Silva, a sophomore Spanish major from Pampa, work on a presentation for the upcoming “Best Practices in Community Interpretation” workshop with Juan Garcia Oyervides, assistant professor of Spanish. The workshop is set for 12:30 p.m. May 1 at The PLACE in Amarillo.