Local Hispanic organization bridges communication barriers

Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 8:53 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The Hispanic Leaders’ Network is launching its language access program with new resources for effective communication.

Soon, more than 15 participants will be certified Qualified Community Interpreters.

The goal is for them to help folks understand crucial information in their primary language.

Former City Councilmember, Hector Sabido, said his parents are immigrants from Mexico, so he understands the frustration of not understanding English.

“I remember going home at a very early age crying because I didn’t understand what my teachers or friends were telling me at that time,” said Sabido.

Participants in the group will take a course to become certified Qualified Community Interpreters.

Sabido said he sees the need for interpreters.

“When you’re already dealing with sensitive information like employment, your health, home loans or car loans in a language that’s not your language, it’s scary. But when you have completely no understanding, I think it makes it even impossible,” said Sabido.

Cris Kennedy said he joined so he can be certified as he interprets languages at churches.

He said he comes from a country in Africa where Spanish is the first language, but he speaks English, Chinese and French as well.

Kennedy said as a person of color, it’s rewarding to serve in multi-cultural communities.

“Language is important, being bilingual is important. Being in Waco, and in Texas where the Hispanic population is growing, it’s an advantage, and it opens a lot of doors,” said Kennedy.

Sabido said communication is key, and he’s ready to make a difference in people’s lives.

“I think it’s going to be an impactful difference. When you’re able to comprehend and learn things in your language, but also being taught how to do it in English, I think it’s going to be life changing,” said Sabido.

The participants will have 90 days to complete the 40-hour course in order to earn their certificate.

If you are interested in signing up, click here.