Now that I had the papers with all the apostilles that I could get in my hot little hands, it was time to get them officialized in México. I could translate them myself, however, I learned from past experience, that the official offices won’t accept them unless they are translated and stamped by a perito traductor.
I wasted 2 weeks or so asking everyone I knew if they knew of some such person to do my papers. Of course, no one did. Then I turned on my brain and googled “perito traductor Moroleón” and lo and behold found one. It so happened that I knew this woman. She had translated my son’s birth certificate for us some years ago, but as she wasn’t a perito traductor at the time, the registry office wouldn’t accept it as valid and we had to have it redone in Morelia by a friend of the Civil Registry judge. It cost us a pretty penny and an annoying amount of time. That unpleasant experience made me think twice about contacting her, but as she was the only official perito traductor in the area, I sent her an email and waited.
After a week without a response, I sent my husband to the address listed to find out the logistics and price. He returned to say that each hoja (page) would cost $250 pesos, but since she remembered us and credited our experience with her quest to obtain the prized perito traductor stamp, she would give us a discount and only charge $200 pesos per page.
There were only 3 documents, my high school diploma, my high school transcripts and my university transcripts, that still needed this process done, however with attached letters of authenticity and apostilles, it would be 7 pages. Sigh.
I typed out the course names that were listed in abbreviation on my high school and university transcripts to aid in translation. I went to print this out but discovered that my printer had run out of ink. That delayed things until the following Monday. Then, having refilled the ink cartridge, I went to turn on my computer to print and was horrified to be presented with the dreaded blue screen. I spent the next week in denial, trying desperately to recover some of my lost files. I finally had to admit that my computer had died, taking all my work with it to the grave. I then went through a period of mourning, unable to muster any energy to work at rebuilding. When I worked through the grieving process, I started the painful reconstruction of documents with a redo of that list of my transcript courses. I printed it out before I turned off the computer I was using, just in case some other computer catastrophe was in the cards.
I went with my husband, the documents and the list to the señora’s office. I showed her my documents and the list. She sincerely appreciated the list. It made her job much easier. She was a little worried about the fact that my high school diploma had been notarized right on the diploma and not a certified copy. I had been a bit dismayed at that as well, since now, should I ever want to display my diploma, it would have all these signatures and stamps and wouldn’t look so pretty in a frame, but had thought that was the price I had to pay for it to be notarized. Well, nothing to be done about that now but hope for the best. Otherwise, I would have to request my high school to reissue a diploma and have the apostille process repeated. (See The Paper Chase).
She said the papers would be ready the next day Unfortunately, payday wasn’t until Friday and I didn’t have the cash to pick them up that day. In the meantime, my husband and I had a bit of a tiff about how I couldn’t do anything without him in México. In a bout of pig-headedness, I decided to go and pick up my documents myself. That would show him! It certainly did. I spent 2 hours trying to find my way back to the office only to arrive and find it closed. An entire afternoon wasted in a futile display of independence. I returned home chastened and admitted defeat. I do need my husband to help me through the sometimes complicated process of officialdom here in México.
The next day, my now-agreeable husband went to pick up the documents, taking every cent of my quincena (2 week paycheck) to pay for them. The señora told him to tell me that if I wanted a job on Saturdays, that she knew people at the university branch in Yuriria. Based on my studies, I was more than qualified. Take that SEP! But, I already have nearly a full day of classes on Saturdays, so declined, although appreciating the ego boost. (See Failing at your own business—Saturday classes)
With all the documents now translated and stamped, I took them to the school secretary. She put them in the file box. After a week, I asked the director what was going on with my papers. He hadn’t even looked at them. So the third week, I went to the owner of the school and told her that all my documents were at the school so I could go ahead and reapply with SEP. She asked the director about them, in my presence, and he gave her my file. She took my file to the lawyer representative for the school to send on to Guanajuato.
It has been 2 months now, and despite repeated queries, there seems to be no progress in my obtaining my official working papers.