Background

The Guatemalan Association of Interpreters and Translators -AGIT- was founded on January 17, 1973. The idea of creating an association came in Paris, when Ernesto Falla, member of French Translators Society, met the founder of the International Federation of Translators.

Upon his return to Guatemala, he contacted renowned translators and interpreters such as Orlando Falla Lacayo, María Julia Bolaños de Sánchez, Bárbara Guissemann and Ilma Niederheitmann de Bayo, with whom he created AGIT.

Naturally, the first person to preside over it was Ernesto Falla himself. He was followed by Fernando Linares Beltranena, Jorge Canale Nanne and the American-Honduran interpreter Anne Bennaton, member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters/AIIC.

It wasn’t until the decade of the nineties when Sheila Wilkin gave AGIT a significant boost. Later, the enthusiasm, sympathy and determination of Ana Isabel Herrerías and Alcira Gacría-Vassaux made AGIT transcend. Of that account, in Guatemala there were workshops, seminars and congresses dictated by: Peter Krawutschke, President of the International Federation of Translators -FIT-; Marian Greenfield, President of the American Translators Association -ATA-; Elizabeth Gamble Miller of the American LIterary Translators Association-ALTA -; Beatriz Rodriguez and Perla Klein from the Colegio de Traductores Públicos de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires -CTPCBA-; and, Manuel Ramiro Valderrama of the University of Valladolid. AGIT has participated in several international seminars and congresses: Congreso de Alfonso Décimo el Sabio in Madrid, International Translators Congress of the FIT in Paris, Melbourne, Sydney and Shanghai, among others. It is worth mentioning that AGIT has taken part in the Executive Council of the FIT LATAM.

The formalization of the Code of Ethics and the Regulation for the AGIT’s Honor Tribunal are due to Alcira García-Vassaux; and, the Translator’s Revenue Stamp, a seal of quality, to Eugenia Torres.

The Guatemalan Association of Interpreters and Translators, with the cooperation of Dr. Uta Lausberg, began including professionals in Mayan languages, for example Quiche and Cakchiquel.

From 2004, thanks to the continued efforts of two AGIT members, Marta Pilón de Pacheco and Flor de Mayo Pacheco, translators, interpreters and teachers, Guatemala counts on the formation in translation at a university level with the Technical University degree in Translation at Elite Academy in alliance with the Galileo University, clearing paths for other universities that now offer a Bachelor’s degree in Translation.

In 2012, Cristina Chocano, President of AGIT, and Dr. Gerardo Piña Rosales, General Director of the Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española -ANLE- corresponding to the Real Academia Española, signed a cooperation convention between both organizations. Furthermore, on occasion of the fortieth anniversary of AGIT, the Board of Directors decided to refresh its image. This change began with the institutional logo, followed by the creation of a commemorative logo and concluding with the metamorphosis of the website, which is translated into several languages.