Monterey County is home to Mexican and Central American immigrants who previously lived in villages so isolated that they speak indigenous languages and very little to no Spanish. The Foundation and its donors developed the internationally-recognized Indigenous Interpreting+® program to help doctors, nurses, administrators and patients connect to improve care and speed healing.
Indigenous Interpreting+ harnesses the expertise of the community itself as interpreters come from the same agricultural fields as the patients they serve. They provide a trusted link between their homelands and a new, modern community that can be overwhelming.
Brigida is an indigenous interpreter in the Medical Center and uses her skills to help others understand the treatments they’re being given, and guarantees that patients are equipped to follow doctor’s orders during and after care. She’s transformed from a farm worker harvesting strawberries to an essential professional using her fluency in both her native Mixteco, Spanish and English to create healthy outcomes for individuals and families.
Foundation donors help fund the Indigenous Interpreting+ program that covers 15 indigenous languages spoken by people in agricultural communities throughout the United States. The program is actively recruiting new interpreters to grow its language coverage, and Indigenous Interpreting+ recently finished writing the first curriculum in the U.S., The Indigenous Interpreter® to train indigenous interpreters. The Foundation, along with TALC (The Agricultural Leadership Council), launched Indigenous Interpreting+ to fund the training of new indigenous interpreters for Natividad so that physicians could understand their patients. The demand for the program outside Natividad was so great that we expanded Indigenous Interpreting+ to court and community interpreting through outside programs.
Thanks to all these efforts, now a community of patients has partners in their health. It takes place in moments as dramatic as a parent whose premature child is being brought by ambulance to Natividad understanding what is happening to her child, where she is going, how she can follow and how the family can support the child in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and later in the home. It also happens in the everyday understanding of symptoms, treatments and care.
Donate to Indigenous Interpreting+ to support the language of healing.
Watch this video to find out how Indigenous Interpreting works and why it’s important.