July 13, 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Eric Miranda, 2021 Spanish Interpreter of the Year

Languages have always been a part of Eric Miranda’s life. Born to a Puerto Rican father and a mother from Indiana, Eric is a native speaker of both Spanish and English. In college, Eric added a third language, spending his junior year in Strasbourg, France. He also regularly encounters language in his day job as a professional singer of classical musical. We feel so grateful to be yet another place where Eric exercises his multilingualism! He joined CommunityHealth in 2017 as a Spanish language interpreter. He currently lives in Rodgers Park, though he loves to travel as much as possible! Check out his speech from the 2021 Volunteer Awards here and scroll on to learn more about Eric!


Is there a specific area of healthcare you are interested in or healthcare experiences you are seeking?

At this point in my life, I do not have any aspiration to shift gears into a full-fledged healthcare career. Still, since acquiring my medical interpreter certification, I have become more interested in how healthcare interacts with the underserved.


If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?

I wish I had teleporting powers.


Do you have any special talents/skills you’d like to share?

As I mentioned above, I am a singer – a baritone, and I mostly sing classical repertoire.


Outside of volunteering with CommunityHealth, how do you like to spend your free time?

I really enjoy traveling and experiencing delicious food of all kinds, at home and abroad.


What’s your favorite book or movie?

This is a tough one, but “Como agua para chocolate” (“Like water for chocolate”) is high on the list. Also, Babette’s Feast.” There’s a theme here.


What is something that not a lot of people know about you?

I grew up Mennonite in Puerto Rico.


If you could be one animal, what would you be and why?

A Puerto Rican Parrot, so I could spend my whole life in the rain forest.


What does your ideal vacation look like?

Some hiking, some sipping wine and/or coffee at a café, some visiting friends, and some concerts and performances.


Why and how did you begin volunteering at CommunityHealth?

I started at CommunityHealth to get practice after getting certified. Another interpreter recommended CommunityHealth as a way to do so.


Do you remember your first day? What surprised you?

I do not remember much detail about my first day, but what surprised me most was the diversity of providers.


What has kept you volunteering all this time?

I genuinely feel good when I volunteer.


What is something you’ve learned from volunteering at CommunityHealth?

I’ve learned that there are still plenty of people who want to make the world a better place.


Can you share an especially memorable moment working with a patient/fellow volunteer/staff member?

I was interpreting for a patient that was especially animated, and, as I was taught to do, I was trying to interpret not just the words, but the sentiment. Afterwards, the provider complimented me on how thorough I was. That stuck with me because it so often feels imperfect.