From linguistic shame to pride

Israel Jesus used to be ashamed of being from the Mexican state of Oaxaca and speaking the local indigenous tongue, Triqui. When he moved to Salinas, California, a kid in his high school told Jesus he was destined to work in the fields nearby. But it was his knowledge of Triqui that sent him on a different path. A hospital in Salinas recruited Jesus to interpret for the increasing number of Triqui-speaking patients. It’s part of an effort in California and beyond to expand medical interpretation to Mexico’s many indigenous languages.

This episode was reported by Nina Porzucki. Music by Alexander Boyes, Blue Dot Sessions, Grupo Sin Control, Medité, and Podington Bear. Photo of Israel Jesus by Nina Porzucki. Read a transcript, with many more photos, here. And sign up for Subtitle’s newsy, nerdy, fortnightly(ish) newsletter here.

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