AAPTI board of directors  


   Esther M. Hermida, President  

Esther M. Hermida is a freelance certified Spanish interpreter. She is certified by the state of California and the US District Court (federal court). She has over 28 years of experience in different areas of interpreting including, legal, corporate, conferences, simulcast, dialect coaching, media interpreting, language consultant, script translations, and voice-over. She founded her own company, GeoLingua, Inc. in 2016, and continues to work as an independent contractor with language service companies who need her expertise and offer a variety of interpreting experiences.

Esther worked for 10 years as a contractor with Los Angeles Superior court. She now serves the private sector and is presently working as a contractor with the U.S. District Court in the Central and Southern District, and other U.S. District Courts servicing the Interpreters Office, CJA, and the Assistant US Attorney's Office. She is an approved vendor for other counties who need assistance with certification of transcription and translation and has testified as an expert in transcription/translation in federal court. 
Esther is an advocate of the profession and believes that we all have a responsibility to protect and improve our profession. She’s active in professional forums, leading and mentoring many newly certified interpreters. 
Esther is passionate about her profession and the services she offers. She believes that people we interpret for need to understand how their lives are being impacted in a language they understand. She strives in providing interpreting to all individuals from all walks of life.

For the past five years, she’s been working with nonprofits, interpreting for trainers who deliver services to disadvantaged communities. Some of these opportunities have been offered to her by some of her favorite agencies. 

A proud moment as an interpreter was when she was a featured guest of a series of workshops presented by a major CA nonprofit to show their nonprofit members why the use of a professional interpreter and the translation provided is of vital importance to the community. After a mock demonstration of how things can go wrong when not paying attention to those in the room who don’t speak English, Esther had to stand before the audience and answer questions and explain the modalities of interpreting, the process, and the extent of our preparation before an event. It was rewarding to see this initiative coming from a non-language related agency that encouraged other nonprofits to allocate funds for language services. 

On a personal level, Esther came to the U.S. with her parents at the age of 10. Her parents came as  political refugees from Cuba, none of her family members spoke English. She had to enroll in a school where other bilingual classmates served as interpreters for her. Knowing how to read and write in Spanish was helpful in advancing in her English classes. 

Esther interpreted for her parents often so her mother thought she was ready for more and offered to help out. At 13, she went to court to serve as an interpreter for a church member to interpret in a civil case. Esther failed miserably as she didn’t know what it meant to speak in the first person as asked by the judge. It was a traumatizing experience for a young person and she hasn't forgotten. She knows how many young immigrant children experience this every day when there’s no language access. Little did she know then that she would be making interpreting a life-long career. 

Esther is a voting member of the American Translators Association (ATA); a member of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT); A founding member of Association of Independent Judiciary Interpreters of California (AIJIC); and a SAG-AFTRA member. 

Contact Esther M. Hermida

Angie Birchfield, Vice President and Legislative Committee Chair

 Ttzol López Beverly CHI™, Treasurer 

Ttzol López Beverly is a freelance interpreter and founder of TL Interpreting and Translating. She graduated in Business Administration with emphasis in Tourism from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico; and she also graduate from the Healthcare Interpreter Program at American River College in Sacramento, CA. She was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico and now resides in Sacramento, California. Ttzol's

thesis at Universidad de Guadalajara was in the modality of annotated translation; little did she know then that interpreting was in her future. 

Ttzol was Operations Manager of Global Education, a company specializing in organized trips to learn language and culture in foreign countries. While working at Global Education, Ttzol offered her bilingual skills and begun interpreting for some of the company’s clients that included high schools, colleges, universities, and healthcare organizations, such as Kaiser Permanente.
Ttzol became a Certified Healthcare Interpreter and has taken numerous training in different fields of Interpretation to expand her knowledge base.
Ttzol is convinced that by working together, professional interpreters and translators can achieve the recognition they deserve as professionals.

“During this time of changes in the working field it is imperative we translators and interpreters work together for the common goal of establishing our profession, as that is the only way we will be listened to, supported, and protected. We need to educate the community we serve, the people who contract us and those who decide the way we must work. We, interpreters and translators, are part of the infrastructure that keeps California and America moving.” 

             Contact Ttzol López


Julia Elizarrarraz, Secretary  

Julia Elizarraraz is a freelance certified Spanish interpreter and has been court certified for the state of California since 2011. She completed the court interpretation program at Southern California School of Interpretation in Santa Fe Springs, CA, in 2008. Prior to this she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with Departmental Honors from the University of Southern California in 2007. Her honors thesis was written on the importance of linguistic and cultural sensitivity while interpreting in a medical setting. Her research for this thesis was conducted while volunteering in a number of departments at Keck Hospital of USC (then known as USC University Hospital). Julia subsequently completed First Year Law at Purdue University Global, having studied Criminal Law, Contracts, Torts, and Legal Analysis.

As many interpreters and translators do, Julia became interested in the profession when she found herself interpreting and translating for her immigrant parents from a young age. As a teenager, Julia was preparing contracts and legal correspondence in both English and Spanish for her family and community, and by age 14, she was interpreting for her parents in civil court. Her first trial interpretation was for her parents as self-represented plaintiffs, and this is where she discovered her love and talent for simultaneous interpretation. She considers one of her greatest professional moments to be when she was the trial interpreter in a wrongful death case where the jury pool was considered to be hostile toward the Spanish-speaking plaintiffs. After interpreting their testimony on the witness stand, the jury rendered a verdict awarding them $30 million.

Julia is a proud member of AAPTI since it made its public debut in February 2020 and as of the time of this writing, has served on AAPTI’s Membership Committee as Chair since the committee’s inception in April 2021. She has been a member of the Legislative Committee since August 2021. Now, in her capacity as Secretary, she looks forward to collaborating with every member of AAPTI, other colleagues and students of the profession, and the communities we all serve.

Contact Julia Elizarrarraz


Madeline Rios, Director of Community Engagement  

Madeline Rios has been a freelance interpreter and translator since 1983. She holds a certificate in translation and interpretation from the University of California at Los Angeles, a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Clark University, and a Master of Arts in Spanish Translation and Interpreting from the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley. Ms. Ríos is a life, voting, Spanish to English translator certified by the American Translators Association. 

She is a member of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators and the Association of Independent Judicial Interpreters of California. She is certified as a Spanish/English court interpreter by the Judicial Council of California and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. 

Ms. Ríos has worked as a translation instructor with the University of California at Fullerton, and has made numerous presentations, published papers, contributed to bilingual dictionaries, and offered training through the Judicial Council of California and professional organizations in the U.S. and Mexico. Her pro bono work includes interpreting for asylum cases and organizing interpreting teams for indigenous consultant organizations at the United Nations, for investigation of the zero-tolerance immigration policy, for the Pomona Habla coalition of Pomona, California, and for the Latino/Latina Roundtable of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, where she serves on its board of directors. She is the former director of the Guatemalan Education Action Project and was the editor of its Guatemala Review publications. Since 1986 she has also interpreted pro bono for the U.S. Southwest regional tours of Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum. 

Contact Madeline Rios

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