Italia Morayta

Pioneer of the conference interpretation in Mexico

Italia Morayta began her career as a simultaneous and consecutive interpreter in 1947 and is considered the first simultaneous interpreter in Mexico. She was a member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters, and a founding member and lifetime honorary vice-president of the Mexican College of Conference Interpreters, a body from which she received the second Malintzin® Prize in 1996.

In 1948 she created, together with a group of colleagues, the Association of Technical Personnel for International Conferences, the first organization of its kind in Mexico. Between 1951 and 2000, she worked as a translator and interpreter for all of Mexico’s presidents, from Miguel Alemán Valdés to Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León.

The almost 3,000 international summits, official and state visits and meetings at which she worked earned her prizes, awards, and decorations, including most notably:

  • The Royal Order of the Polar Star, awarded by His Majesty, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, and Her Majesty Queen Silvia

  • The Royal Victorian Order, awarded by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

  • National Order of Merit of the French Republic in the degree of Chevalier, awarded by Valéry Giscard D’Estaing, President of France