About Us

Our Mission

As an organization of trilingual (Spanish-English-ASL) interpreters that believes in high quality services for our Deaf and hearing stakeholders, it is the mission of Mano a Mano to provide an infrastructure for access to trilingual interpreting resources, support professional development for trilingual interpreters, educate the public about trilingual interpreting, and advocate for appropriate policies concerning the provision of trilingual interpretation.

Who We Are

We are a non-profit organization of trilingual (Spanish, English and American Sign Language) interpreters in the United States who work in communities and settings where Spanish is prevalent. As interpreters, we regularly work with American Sign Language (ASL), Puerto Rican varieties of ASL, Spanish, and English. Our work is often called “trilingual interpreting.” However, within our work it is not uncommon to also be exposed to characteristics of signed languages from other Latin American communities.

We are not an interpreting agency, though we serve as a resource for trilingual interpreting matters and a professional organization to advance various aspects of trilingual interpreting. We also support opportunities for trilingual interpreter professional development.

We are:

  • Trilingual (Spanish-ASL-English) Interpreters
  • Bilingual (Spanish-ASL, ASL-English, Spanish-English) Interpreters who are developing language skills in a third language
  • Students and Professional Interpreters, Non-certified and Certified Interpreters
  • Interpreters working to advance the profession and support diversity

A Brief History of Mano a Mano

The founders realized a need for Trilingual Interpreters to network and discuss linguistic and cultural issues specific to their work as professional interpreters. Nationally-known leaders such as Mary Mooney (Instructor, El Paso Community College and Director, National Multicultural Interpreter Project [NMIP]) and Angela Roth (leader of the NMIP Hispanic team), stepped forward to help organize an online forum for discussions. In 1999, with support of the NMIP, the first national gathering of interpreters who work in Spanish-influenced communities occurred in Boston, Massachusetts, and Mano a Mano was unofficially created. Mano a Mano was incorporated in the state of Florida in May 2001, and was recognized by the IRS as a non-profit [501(c)(3)] organization in 2003.

Mano a Mano has held biennial conferences since 2001, coinciding with RID biennial conferences (Orlando, 2003; Chicago, 2005; San Antonio, 2007; San Francisco, 2009; Philadelphia, 2011; Indianapolis, 2013; New Orleans, 2015). Prior to 2011, Mano a Mano conferences were held as pre-conference meetings to the RID biennial conventions. However, at the 2011 RID Convention in Atlanta, Mano a Mano hosted a trilingual track concurrent with RID’s workshops; this development was due to close collaboration between the two organizations and much support from RID. In 2017, Mano a Mano did not host a biennial conference of its own. Rather, the organization urged all members and interpreters who work in Spanish-influenced settings to attend the Council de Manos conference in Los Angeles, California. In 2018, Mano a Mano Region IV is offering a trilingual track at the RID Region IV conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Board of Directors

President: Ruth de Jesús

Vice-President: Claudia Mansilla

Secretary: Juan Ramirez

Treasurer: Jessica Gamez

Region I Rep: Erin Sanders-Simon

Region II Rep: Mónica Gallego

Region III Rep: Maria Dively

Region IV Rep: Jorge Santiago

Region V Rep: Cecilia Palomares Tovar

Member at Large, Deaf: Vacant

Member at Large, Hearing: Vacant

Committee Chairs

Bylaws: Vacant

Membership: Orlando Obeso

Webmaster: Dexter Jones

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