Client Spotlight | Indira Guzman
We had the honor of sitting down with Indira to learn about the Community Language Cooperative (CLC), an organization we originally helped launch in 2014. Hearing just how much heart and passion Indira has for her team and those in the community is exactly what fuels Third Principle and the work we do for impactful people and organizations like CLC.
Indira, and the CLC, have come a long way since 2014. While Indira was translating as a freelancer, she had a bigger vision. She wanted to expand the languages offered and provide people like herself with a business ownership opportunity. Instead of forming another agency, Indira and her newfound team wanted to become a co-op; providing everyone an ownership opportunity and a sense of integrity that comes with being an owner of a business.
Quickly, the organization started growing and demands for simultaneous interpretation and translation grew. Today, CLS is comprised of 8 translators who do written work, 13 interpreters who do live interpretations, and 350 active clients. Revenues have surpassed $1M, exceeding Indira’s expectations. However, their impact goes well beyond financial measures.
CLC provides support for community engagement, focus groups, and consulting. And, they are pioneering the practice of Language Justice in Colorado. Language Justice is a conscious effort to create a space where no language is dominant over the other. CLC believes that everyone should have the chance to converse and be able to communicate effectively without any one language being dominant over the other.
In Indira’s words “this allows people to speak in the language of their hearts and really express and take leadership roles and build capacity in whatever their language may be.”
When asked how she manages it all Indira jokingly said “I don’t”, but anyone who knows Indira, knows that she is excessively modest and credits the work of her team for CLC’s success.
The team behind CLC are very involved in their work, they bond and form friendships with many of the people and communities they support. Several translators and interpreters have left CLC to work directly with clients. They find themselves so moved and inspired by what they are doing that they want to be a part of the client organizations and move their programs forward on a daily basis. However, the bonds to CLC are strong and the work continues, much to the delight of Indira.
Because of their constant outreach and drive to break down language barriers, CLC is starting to expand into other states such as Texas, California, and soon North Carolina, where they are advancing the language justice movement and training other organizations on best practices.
We asked Indira what it was like working with Third Principle and she said “we were so new at what we were doing and so new at the concept of co-ops, we had an idea, but working with Third Principle really helped us narrow down our process and what the direction of our co-op was going to be. We really explored our niche through Third Principle”
Looking ahead, the focus in 2019 will be on continuing to develop the cooperative model, and to bring more structure and opportunity to the program. In addition, we will be expanding the language justice offering and looking to establish CLC satellites in other more rural portions of Colorado where translation is more difficult.
Learn more about CLC at http://www.communitylanguagecoop.com/