My crazy adventure with Global Voices began back in 2011 when I was looking for volunteer opportunities and came across an article about GV in The New York Times. Soon after, I joined the Lingua team and began translating posts from Spanish into English. My first translation  was about the controversy generated over Mario Vargas Llosa attending Argentina's International Book Fair in 2011.
When I came to GV, I was lucky enough to have two amazing editors — Firuzeh Shokooh Valle and Silvia Viñas. I had never done any sort of serious translations before and they were there to help me through anything and everything. (Now that Silvia has moved on, I'm happy to be on Gabriela García Calderón's team!) As time went on, I began translating more and more posts without even realizing how much work I was doing. Whenever I had free time at my day job, I was translating for GV.
I've said this before and I'll say it again — volunteering with GV has never felt like work to me. It's an honor and so much fun to translate such important content so that everyone can have access to news from all over the world and not be limited by language barriers.
That first translation has opened so many doors for me, including everything from expanding my professional network to making new friends all over the world who are always there to show me around their home countries when I get bit by the travel bug.
The day that I knew GV was more than just a volunteer opportunity was when I met Firuzeh in person for the first time. I was going to be in Boston visiting my alma mater and we decided to meet. I had been waiting for her at a metro station when suddenly I heard someone scream “MARIANNA!!!” and was greeted with the warmest hug. This was someone who, up until that moment, I had only communicated with via email and she treated me as if we had known each other our entire lives. At that moment, I knew that I wasn't just part of an organization — I was part of a family.