Three fundamental principles guide me when I create Spanish-language materials and content for a US-based audience.

Throughout my life and career, I’ve witnessed the injustices and hypocrisy that characterize how US society treats Spanish and Spanish speakers. Spanish immersion K-12 schools have competitive admissions and long waiting lists, yet Spanish-speaking parents are still receiving the message that they should not teach Spanish to their children. Speaking Spanish is considered to be a valuable skill on the job market, yet bilingual employees are not compensated for their skills or are asked to translate and interpret for free in the workplace. This is not to mention that people are harassed and even arrested for speaking Spanish in public.

With all of this in mind, Tertulia helps clients share their stories and messages in Spanish for a US-based audience with three fundamental principles in mind:

Spanish has a long history in the territory now known as the United States. The United States is currently the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, behind Mexico (1). Different researchers calculate the current number of Spanish speakers in the US in different ways, but most of their counts hover around 40 million. There are particular characteristics that make US Spanish unique, as the Spanish spoken in each Spanish-speaking country has its own idiosyncrasies. Furthermore, in the US, Spanish is the most taught and the most studied language aside from English; enrollments in Spanish courses at K-12 schools as well as institutions of higher education surpass those of all other modern languages combined (2).

(Sources: (1) Wikipedia, with sources, as well as dozens of news articles in recent years. (2) Based on K-12 world language enrollment numbers compiled by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and other sources.)

Here are some Tertulia podcast episodes that explore these themes:
Language justice recognizes that in any multilingual community, different languages are associated with different levels of power and status. Spanish is currently a minority language when compared to English, not only in terms of the number of active speakers but also in terms of its status. In the US, English is the language of power, and it can offer protection from harm and access to many institutions and areas of life. Conversely, a person that is most comfortable communicating in a non-English language can be at risk of their human rights being violated, particularly in the civil and criminal justice systems, the immigration system, the healthcare system, and other vital systems. Translation, interpretation, and effective (plain language) communication in Spanish can offer an alternative form of protection and access for people who are Spanish-dominant.
Here are some Tertulia podcast episodes that explore these themes:

A vibrant language is one that is used actively by its speakers in many different areas of life. Language can allow a person to maintain a connection to their relationships, personal history, and ancestral communities. However, in many parts of the US, both Spanish speakers and non-Spanish speakers alike may associate the use of Spanish in the public sphere with social, cultural, and economic disadvantages. Some people are racially profiled or face threats to their personal safety for speaking Spanish. The more we embrace and celebrate Spanish, the more often we will see it used from the classroom to the board room, from the stage to the town hall. Miami, Florida is an example of a community that recognizes this, ever since Dade County repealed an English-only law that was in force from 1980 to 1993.

Here are some Tertulia podcast episodes that explore these themes:

Explore two examples, one print and one audio, of how Tertulia has put this approach into action.

To understand more about the human rights perspective behind these principles, see the United Nations’ guidance on the language rights of linguistic minorities.