Jan 1, 2009, 5:00 AM
Post #1 of 7
Students, retired persons like myself, and many others from all walks of life every year go to Mexico and take a course in Spanish. I wanted to learn Spanish because I love traveling to Mexico and wanted to go past the tourist destinations. I turned to mexconnect where I knew there would be plenty of information on the subject. I was not interested in college credits. I didn’t want a class with more than 5 students. And it could not be expensive. I just wanted to learn how to speak conversational Spanish. After going thru the Pimsluer CD’s and Rosetta Stone, which I found to be good at getting me started in basic Spanish, I felt there was something missing. I started searching the blogs for different schools and finally found the school that was right for me. It was in the city of Veracruz, Mexico. It is American owned and operated and the web site gave me all the details that I needed. Veracruz is hot in the summer so I booked me a class in November and hoped that I had made the right choice.
Being retired and in no hurry I took the plane down to Brownsville, Texas and walked across the International Bridge. I took the ADO bus to Tampico and spent the first night there. The next morning I took the ADO bus to Tuxpan and found it to be very nice so I decided to stay two nights. Ed and Fran, members of mexconnect, showed me around town and the beaches nearby. I hated to leave the next morning but headed on down to ciudad de veracruz which is only about three hours away. With the address in hand the taxi driver headed north and ten minutes later I was there. It was a typical spanish looking yellow building with the house number 61 by the door. Erik and Linda, the owners, where there waiting on me before I could get out of the cab. After a brief introduction I was taken upstairs to my room. The rooms are very nice and comfortable with their own bathrooms.
The cost of the class includes your room, two meals a day and laundry service on Mondays. The school is located one block from the ocean near the aquarium. The buses run north to el centro where you can find museums, shopping, the Mercado or an old Spanish fort. The buses going south will take you to the beaches of Boca Del Rio and plenty of fancy fish restaurants. On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday the classes start at 8:15 am and last until 10:15 am. They never have more than three students per instructor during the peak season, which is summer, and during the off season, like November, you will more than likely have a personal instructor like I had. The instructors are very experienced and within a few minutes figured out where I was at and what I needed to get me speaking Spanish. At 10:15 am you stop and head for the bus stop with the instructor and off you go, everyday they will take you around town to different places so you can put what you have learned to work. At 12:15 pm everyone should be back and ready for lunch. The Mexican girls are good cooks and sometimes the food will surprise you, like the green spaghetti we had for lunch one day. I have to admit it was the best spaghetti I have ever eaten. From 1:15 pm until 3:15 pm it is more classroom instruction. On Thursdays they form two or three to a group and go on field trips. My first Thursday field trip was to Cempoala and Antigua with an instructor and one other student. The instructors show you how to take the local buses and go anywhere. After sightseeing and a lot of walking we had lunch at a local restaurant beside the river in Antigua.
I could not say enough good things about the school in veracruz, I certainly got more than I had hoped for and then some. The other students that I met there were of different ages and came from all over and I made a lot of new friends. Erik and Linda started the school for all the right reasons. To provide permanent jobs for talented college students from the local University. To effectively teach students like myself “Conversational Spanish”. And to provide a family like atmosphere to make you feel at home. They also have a cooking class. I sure would like to learn how they made that green spaghetti.