Today we’d like to introduce you to María L. Villagómez Victoria.
María, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have translated and interpreted from Spanish to English and English to Spanish for friends, family and at work for over 30 years. In my thirties, I realized that I possessed a skill that was extremely valuable and one that could benefit me and my family financially, too. For far too long, I didn’t realize that my skill was important and valued by others. I wasn’t applying to it the value it deserved. It was then when I decided to start my own translation services business. I went to City Hall and submitted my business plan application and launched Spanish Language Consulting in 2007. My purpose was simple: to offer professional advice on a more authentic and accurate use of the Spanish Language. Additionally, the business would offer training workshops on cultural competency as it related to Spanish speaking communities.
Since 2007, I have translated a few books, edited documents and scripts for many organizations and companies, and I have served as a Spanish language consultant for freelance writers, large companies, non-profit organizations, schools and other businesses including, a TV show for NBC Universal: Nina’s World, for which I served as the Spanish Language Consultant.
As I worked with writers and editors, it occurred to me that I too could write my own books — and so I did. I wanted to share my story with others. Big publishing companies would likely not be interested in publishing the stories about Mexican children’s childhood memories, but I thought that my story needed to be shared and read by children with similar experiences. In September of 2019, I authored and self-published three bilingual children’s books. The stories are a compilation of my childhood memories. My story is the story of many Mexican-American children who grew up in Mexican villages and away from their parents. The books are titled: My Grandma, Farmworkers, and Small Towns.
In only six months, I have sold more than 650 copies of the books. I am extremely proud of this accomplishment. Knowing that my story is being read by so many children from around the world and their parents makes me feel that I am contributing to our society’s well-being and that feeling warms my heart.
Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all. In high school and in college, I struggled academically. I faced language barriers. In high school, my English was broken. When I started college, I placed at one level below college-level English. I struggled in school, but I persevered. My dreams were too big to let anything get in the way of reaching them. I was raised in a small town but had very big dreams.
I started teaching Spanish in 1999. I have taught all levels of Spanish from 3rd grade to university level. Today, I am an experienced and successful college senior administrator — the first Mexican-American woman Academic Senior Dean at Napa Valley College,a Hispanic Serving Institution in California. I am grateful for the opportunities with which life has presented me. I have successfully taken advantage of almost every opportunity presented to me.
I also struggled financially. I grew up very poor. Saving money was not a concept with which I was familiar. My family was on welfare for years. There was never any extra money growing up! My sisters and I lived away from my mother so she could work and send money to us. I have been working consistently since I was sixteen years old. I have never been unemployed. Life has taught me the importance of saving my money and not spending more than I earn — that’s how I have learned to save. Today, I have a few investments.
As if language barriers and socioeconomic hardships weren’t enough, my father passed away when I was thirteen. That experience left a very deep wound that has taken many years to heal. I have learned to accept the good moments in life, but also the unfortunate ones because those have made me emotionally stronger.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Spanish Language Consulting story. Tell us more about the business.
We offer a wide range of services including, but not limited to translating, editing, proofing, and training.
Our Translators are Native Speakers of Spanish AND possess additional academic credentials which attest to their expertise in the subject.
We offer our services to private and public companies, schools, and individuals from all over the world that wish to translate their documents from English-Spanish and/or from Spanish-English or who are interested in offering Occupational Spanish Language/Cultural Competency training to its employees.
I am most proud of having been selected to work with Actor Rita Moreno in the show Nina’s World, with the production team at NBC Universal and with the team at Pipeline Studios! That was quite a treat for me.
What sets me apart from others is my dedication and discipline. I like to do good work.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I’m open to the future and wish to no set limitations. I’m not ambitious with the company since it was never meant to be large in quantity, but rather rich in quality.
- Website: www.spanishlanguageconsulting.net
- Phone: 7076310453
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @latina1blogger
- Facebook: @spanishlanguageconsulting
- Twitter: @speakersofspani