Colegio Mexicano de Intérpretes de Conferencias
Conference interpreting had already been established in México in 1982, and the profession enjoyed great prestige thanks to the interpreters’ professionalism and quality work in this field. However, there was a need for an organization to unite the interpreters where they can exchange experiences, foster a dialogue that would enable the consolidation of the work conditions to be observed, and to lead the way for the development of the profession in our country.
This spirit inspired Sergio Alarcón --then a young interpreter-- to summon his colleagues from different groups and generations to a meeting in Cocoyoc, Morelos. In the event’s official photo, we can see an auspicious mix of interpreters such as Italia Morayta, the pioneer of interpreting in Mexico, as well as recently graduated interpreters who were just beginning this promising career.
The Colegio Mexicano de Intérpretes de Conferencias, A.C. (CMIC) emerged from that meeting as an association of professionals who share a code of ethics and work conditions governed by bylaws and regulations approved by a majority. The CMIC’s supreme body is the General Assembly, and its functions are to renew the governing board and the different commissions, receive reports from the different bodies of the grouping, and approve work plans for the following year, among others.
The permanent commissions of the CMIC are currently the following:
- Admissions, reclassifications, deregistration, and career path
- Outreach, technology, and education
- Honor and justice
- Bylaws and regulations
Since its establishment, the CMIC is being run by the unpaid work of its members. We have achieved its registration as a non-profit association, the professional review of our rules and regulations, the organization of different events, convention, and training and continuous education courses, medical insurance, and an editorial collection, highlighting our periodical Flash and Le Petit Journal du CMIC (2017-2019), the Los Lenguas magazine —edited on special occasions for a specific topic—, our blogs and books. Undoubtedly the most ambitious book Tras las huellas de una profesión, a book resulting from the oral history project that compiles and contextualizes the memory of interpreting protagonists in Mexico.
Additionally, interpreters who have been practicing the profession for 25 years are recognized with a silver pin, and those who have been working as interpreters for 50 years are usually paid a tribute.
In 1994, upon the initiative of our colleague Héctor Acosta, the CMIC established the Malintzin® award as a biennial recognition to outstanding interpreters for their ethics, professionalism, solidarity, and fellowship. Although any CMIC member can propose somebody to become a member, being proposed isn’t the only requirement. The decision befalls on a jury appointed for the purpose at a General Assembly.
The CMIC’s social activities must be underscored. We have organized numerous activities to strengthen our ties among the interpreters such as, tributes, plays, pastorelas, ballet functions, dinner dances, luncheons, and end of the year toasts (for obvious reasons, in 2020 a virtual event was organized.) We have also held garage sales to aid our colleagues who are in distress, the sale of glossaries to enrich our documentary collection, which include recipes from different countries that leave prove of the nationality diversity that make up our membership.
The Solidarity Fund is one of the CMIC’s greatest prides. Created in 1986 upon the initiative of Nina Marentes, with an initial amount of MX $5,000.00, the Fund has significantly increased its capital and provided financial aid to a great number of members when they have needed it due to health or financial reasons.
Each of the Assemblies have taken the CMIC a step forward in attaining its initial goals and have been transforming it so its members can deal with the everchanging and unexpected needs of the market, such as an unprecedented drive of new technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout four decades each member has contributed with ideas and specific ways of construing and looking at our profession; thus this has nourished and grown the CMIC so that it can continue its consolidation as an association that joins the pillars of interpreting in Mexico, and the new generations of professional interpreters of our country.