Please excuse our mess.
I feel strange talking about us, because we want this to be a place all about helping you. But I figured a little bit about who we are and why we exist might make you feel more comfortable.
TLDR; myAmigos is run by Michael (an Australian expat in Spain), Carla (his Spanish teacher), and Pablo (an IT expert and friend of Michael’s). The people who provide the interpretation services are all real friends of Michael’s as well, who are fully bilingual and love helping others.
I will get fancy with the design and layout later (sorry Joanne!), but to give you some background….
I’m Michael and I first had the idea for myAmigos in about May 2021 after trying (again!) to get myself on the list for COVID vaccines. My Spanish language skills (and indeed cultural skills) just weren’t good enough to break through the language barrier. In the past I had turned to bilingual friends to help with similar situations. But having been here for a while this was getting embarrassing! Also, some times friends aren’t available, or don’t want to travel, or things come up. Wouldn’t it be better if helpful bilingual people were always available to help and you could rely on them and not feel like you were imposing because they were getting paid?
I built the prototype of the video chat app over a weekend and then asked Carla (my Spanish teacher, and a friend I had relied on in the past) if she liked the idea and would help run the business and serve as the first amiga in the system. She said yes! We tried out the system with my attempts to get the vaccines (you can see those videos on our sign up page if you want to see how it works) which were successful – both for the app and for Michael getting vaccinated! I then asked Pablo to help us out with more of the technical side of things (because he is great at managing IT projects, but also because it gives us an excuse to explore what we bonded over initially a few years back – Spanish food and wine!)
I have since recruited more friends to become interpreters (amig@s) for the system – as volunteers at this stage. These amig@s come from different backgrounds and countries originally although they all have three things in common – they all now live in Spain itself, are fully bilingual, and love helping people. A special shout out to Joanne Moore who volunteered to help us out with turning my very ugly designs into something that was more professional but still warm and welcoming.
I have been amazed with people’s enthusiasm for the idea and their willingness to help out. Together we want to make your time in Spain as connected, easy, and as fun as it can be!