Spanish Classes will be offered this 2014 - 2015 season in Yelapa (since 2001), and on a demand basis in Sayulita www.SayulitaStudySpanish.com and the mountain community of San Sebastian del Oeste, one hour east of Vallarta.
Study Spanish in Yelapa, near Puerto Vallarta (pop. 1,000)– A quiet coastal fishing village tucked into a bay of lush green jungle and crystal clear ocean and river waters where the Humpback whales calve and play. snorkeling, beaches and whales galore in a big sheltered bay with calm waters. Some Activities can be included as part of Spanish Class – tours of local green grocers, abarroterías (general store), tortilla factory, rosewood wood crafters, local hike above the waterfall, exploring the cemetery, home visits to make tortillas on an earthen stove or an iron comal on a fire, farm visits, etc.
After Spanish class - Activities to continue to practice speaking Spanish with local guides include: horse rides and burro rides for kids, upriver hikes, naturalist tour of valley, whale watching tour, Marietas Islands national park tour, among many others ( See Activities page ).
• Study in Sayulita, Nayarit (pop. 2,300) surf town, beaches 15 min north of Punta de Mita, 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta) – pretty little beach town, with lots of active living. Emphasis is on the environment, fitness and exercise, fusión of Mexican and New Age architecture, dining, dance and outdoor living. There's lots of music and art venues (bars and galleries), yoga studios, unique designer shops, easy surf, great food, beach and jungle walks, close to many other beaches, archaeological zones. Sayulita natives are friendly, and it's a favorite national hang-out of lots of Mexicans on vacation. Spanish is a necessity to enjoy it fully! Lots of activities include the various beaches, petroglyphs in nearby archaeological site , birding and nature walks, whale watching, fishing, beginner surfing , social events in the plaza, live music nightly at Don Pato's and other public hangouts with lots of opportunity to connect and make new friends.
Study Spanish to truly enjoy the mix of Mexicans surfing and enjoying the beaches in Sayulita
Yelapa English Spanish Institute (YESI) offers a Spanish study intensive program of small classes near the beach in Yelapa , a 45 min boat ride from Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico . Courses are designed for you to learn to speak Spanish quickly, enjoying the people, beaches, jungle and mountains even more on your holidays! Select a study period from the weeks outlined below, or inquire about other times of year !
i) Intensive Spanish Weekly Course Dates 2015-2016 (Classes Monday to Friday)
November: 8-15, 15-22, 22-29,
December: Nov 29-6, 6-13, 13-20, 20-27
January: Dec 27-Jan 3, 3-10, 10-17, 17-24, 24-31
February: Jan 31-Feb 7, 7-14, 14-21, 21-28, 28-6 Mar
March: Feb 28-Mar 6, 6-13, 13-20, 20-27, 27- 3 Apr
April: Mar 27- Apr 3, 3-10, 10-17, 17-24, 24-1 May
May: 1-7, 7-14, 14-21, 21-28, 28- Jun 5
* Spanish Classes outside indicated dates can be arranged with notice .
+ Arrive Sunday at the latest for Monday classes, home stays leave Sunday at latest (Inquire for other options)
ii) Summer Spanish Courses 2015 *
June: May 28-5, 5-12, 12-19, 19-26, 26-3 July
iii) Medical Spanish Course (Inquire re Dates Preferred)
November: 13-20, 20-27 (2016)
(Inquire re: Other Dates)
How We Teach
Groups are small, classes structured with emphasis on spoken Spanish. We learn lots of short cuts to Spanish grammar and Spanish structure. At Level 1 concepts are instructed in English to boost comprehension, while we focus on your spoken abilities. We study and learn vocabulary by theme (eating out, visiting, family, travel, etc.).
Classes are Monday to Friday, 3 hrs daily (with meriend a snack break), to immerse as much as possible for those serious about learning. We emphasize Spanish conversation, and learn through vocabulary and simple structures in oral exercises, games, readings, songs and activities.
There may be some practical exercises after class to help reinforce learning and practice: (riddles to write, interviews with locals, family trees, etc.). Study is in small groups at your level. Your info on the Registration sheet and an interview upon arrival help us determine your level.
Instruction begins in English for Beginner students in Level 1 . It's a big boost to learning to be clear about the concepts early! More Spanish is used daily as you gain vocabulary and use simple structures to speak. In the 2 nd Week, much more immersion occurs, until the completion of study of the Past Tenses in Level Two. By Level Three, Spanish is spoken throughout the class and continues through Levels Four and Five. Our emphasis is to have you speak Spanish quickly, with lots of repetition of structure with new practical vocabulary.
ii) Weekend Spanish Intensives (12 hrs Fri to Sun) - We offer a super –intensive quantum leap in learning through immersion in a Weekend Intensive . We begin study on Friday early evening, with two classes Saturday and Sunday morning and afternoon of 2.5 hours for a total of 12 hrs per weekend. You can practice over lunch each day or just chill.
iii) Activities/ Tours - Practice your Spanish while having fun outdoors. We can arrange guides who reinforce the Spanish learned in classes. Tours or activities with local Mexicans is interactive and fun way to learn Spanish. Go whale watching, boating or fishing, hiking , horseback riding , paragliding among many activities . We can also arrange a short activity after the class near the school (visit tortilla factory, interact at the stores, short nature walk, etc.)
iv) Home Stays - Repeat and practice daily - After Spanish classes, maximize your study at a Mexican home stay . Learn about the culture of Mexico through native Spanish speakers. Enjoy a comfortable private room with a private bath, great meals and a chance to make new Mexican friends through Spanish conversation over a meal. Private accommodation can also be arranged for you in suites with families who will provide some meals if you choose.
v) The Class Setting of the school is casual, with a relaxing atmosphere on a sunlit patio at an authentic palm-thatched roof (palapa) at the edge of the jungle, close to two waterfalls and Yelapa's beaches. Depending on the desires of the students we have other options for class locations to experience more of Yelapa during your short stay and meet more people to interact with.
vi) Customized or Privates Studies - We can also customize your studies, block time outside of the posted dates, and/or teach at your accommodations. Please inquire for these special arrangements. We also arrange private Spanish conversation classes after the class by the hour for those wishing to practice with other various native speakers.
vii) Tours with your Teacher - YESI offers www. StudySpanishRoadTours.com – travel and practise Spanish at select towns, and events in the region (or more distant attractions in Mexico) – either one week or weekend, with transport, accommodation, guides and studies all arranged for you!! ( see I below )
Study of Spanish in a casual setting at Yelapa English Spanish Institute.
Home stay meals with hosts – enjoy learning and practicing Spanish at home!
Tortilla-making at Spanish school after class.
Taking it to the Streets - Yelapa Social Life and Social Events
There's also a variety of social activities in the village open to all - such as Christmas Posada (the eve of Christ's birth), weddings ( bodas ), quincinieras (15 th coming of age birthday for young girls ( doncelas ), Tuesday church sing-along, children's birthday piñata street parties, school concerts and fund-raisers, and a variety of festivales (e.g. Revolution Day, Guadalupe festival, Marine Day, Easter ceremonies, etc). Every day in Mexico is a fiesta. ¡Viva Mexico!
It's easy to follow-up study after Spanish classes on the streets, at the many restaurants and stores where you can practice daily. Many find that even one week of Spanish study through classes, activities and home stay, will quickly boost your learning. A second consecutive week adds use of the past tenses and you're on your way to good simple conversations with friends and acquaintances ( see testimonies on Trip Advisor ).
REGULAR PROGRAMS – DETAILS and SCHEDULE
A. Weekly Spanish Intensives for Adults
1. Yelapa, Jalisco, Mexico (near Puerto Vallarta ), Sayulita, Nayarit (Winter and Summer)
Winter Program: Winter Program: Regular Group Spanish classes run from November to end of April. The climate is ideal for beach life and lots of activities. Study Spanish classes outdoors on the edge of the jungle with ocean view just a minute from the village. Groups are small, classes casual but professional. Tried and true approach, with an emphasis on spoken Spanish, but with lots of Spanish structure to hang the vocabulary! Classes are Monday to Friday, 3 hrs, emphasis on Spanish conversation, learning through repetitive oral exercises, games, readings, songs, activities (visits to stores, tortilla factory, rosewood workshop, etc.). Home stays highly recommended or private suites with some meals with a family. We'll offer classes in Yelapa and some weeks throughout the winter and summer in Sayulita, Nayarit, just forty five minutes north of the airport in Puerto Vallarta.
The many faces of Yelapa; share stories and experience more in Spanish after study at YESI.
1. Yelapa - sea and jungle, rivers and waterfalls
2. Sayulita - Fishing and surf scene, with local designer shops, farmer's market
3. San Sebastian and Mascota – close to the coast, two towns 1.5 – 2 hrs east of Puerto Vallarta. San Sebastian a “Pueblo Mágico” (magic town) a picturesque colonial old mining town nestled in pine and oak-clad mountains. Mascota, meaning “place of deer and snakes”, a wide fertile valley and farming community.
1. Yelapa - The summer program runs with Adult Intensives and Private Classes, Family Groups, Children's Classes and Teacher's Classes from June to mid- August. Yelapa is verdant green and lush, hot (highs of 80 – 90 F, 32 – 37 C) and humid, with showers almost daily to cool things off, and the ocean is cooling, salty and crystal clear. We teach from a few locations to maximize opportunities to dip into cool pools in the rivers, sit in the breezes in the shade, and enjoy the different activities in the village and glimpses of Mexico's abundant wildlife. Yelapa is typical of Mexico in the off-season, rich with tradition and culture. The pace is slow in this vernal paradise.
We combine a couple hours of Spanish grammar studies, games, exercises and then apply this in the field in a group activity for under an hour: a visit to a small farm, a nature hike, a tour of the Rosewood factory, the water factory or tortilla factory, the stores, the medical clinic, among other locations. Learn and try out your Spanish and see new things daily!
Yelapa in the summer is lush, with Spanish study at the cooling waterfalls in town.
2. Sayulita - We'll run a three hour study program at the school location, just seven minutes walk from the plaza. We'll do a tour practising Spanish in the local shops, tortilla factory, corner store after class stopping in a traditional Mexican restaurant for lunch.
3. San Sebastian del Oeste and Mascota - (1.5 -2 hrs east of P to. Vallarta). We'll stay three nights at San Sebastian and four nights at Mascota. Only 70 kms from Puerto Vallarta, San Sebastian del Oeste is an old colonial town, built at the peak of gold and silver mining in the 1600s with lots of Mexican history and myth. Many grand houses remain of adobe and tile roofs, colonial architecture, inner court yards, cobblestone streets and fences surrounding fruit orchards and fields. It's a scenic treasure amidst pine forests, agave and cornfields, with trails to old mines, smaller mountain villages and easily reached peaks. We'll combine studies and local activities such as visiting unique museums, hiking creek-side or mountain trails, visit a surviving old Hacienda and former ore-processing plant
Mascota is a further 68 kms in a large fertile valley where corn, sorghum and wheat crops are grown. It's a friendly town of colonial architecture. After the two hours of study, our activities can include visits to some of local homes, which are “museums” of antiquities, the museum established by National Geographic, walking trails to various petroglyphs, visits to a healing “magnetic center, and swim, hike or fish at the local lake “Presa Corrinche”.
B. Weekend Spanish Intensive (Regular – On Demand)
We cover in 12 hrs over a weekend most of the basics done in a 5 day program, allowing time for conversational practice over joint lunches practicing Spanish with a local hostess. Starts Friday evening, with 5 classes of 2-2.5 hrs,with 3 hr breaks on Saturday and Sunday. A Sunday departure possible on the last boat at 5:45 pm.
C. Spanish for Birders (Based on Demand)
We'll learn Spanish on the forested hillside school of YESI which is one of the best locations in Yelapa for birding. Birds fly through and sit in the treetops and past the class. We'll learn birding vocabulary; focus on Spanish verbs related to bird behaviour in addition to regular grammar and vocabulary study and exercises for two hours daily. For a minimum of one hour daily, we´ll watch birds, identify them and learn their natural history in several habitats (estuary, waterfalls, higher elevation forest, coastal scrub, riparian). Even beginners to birding will find the class
D. Family Group Spanish ( Regular and Summer)
To allow children and their parents time together as a group, we've arranged a 2 hr Spanish course for parents to study with their children (A 3 rd hour can be added, if desired). The only requirement is that the children can read a bit (approximately 7 years of age). Younger children can accompany us, but the focus will not be directed to them. See E. Children's Group Spanish .
We will spend the first hour learning simple grammatical structures, then use pictures for vocabulary building, games and Spanish songs for learning. In the second hour, we will do an activity that allows use of that Spanish vocabulary and structure (eg. farm visit, riding burros, tortilla making on an outdoor stove, a visit to a grocery store, tours of water factory and tortilla factory and rosewood workshop, cooking class).
Learn by tasting in Spanish class
E. Children's Group Spanish ( Regular and Summer)
Spanish Classes for children will be offered Monday to Friday for 1.5 hrs for ages five and up. We'll learn simple grammatical structures and practice them through games, readings, crafts, activities and songs. Please inquire for longer class times, if interested.
F. Spanish Classes for Teachers (Summer)
A summer one week or two week Spanish class (5 days per week of three hour classes) is designed for teachers during the summer holidays. Week 1 is Beginner´s (Present Tense) and Week 2 is Intermediate (Past Tenses). Two and a half hours of grammar and exercises: to practice and learn new vocabulary through exercises, readings, games and songs. We'll practice in the field with a half hour of activity (tour of tortilla factory, rosewood carvers, town baker, hand make tortillas over a comal (earthen oven). For intermediate level – 2 hrs grammar, then one hour of conversational practice daily with a native speaker. Please inquire for advanced study.
Enhance Spanish learning through accommodation arranged with a host family. This includes a private room, comfortably furnished, with private bath. Two meals per day are included in the home stay. We can also arrange private accommodation, with or without meals.
G . Spanish Classes - Adventures Program (Inquire for Availability)
For those who want a committed Spanish language guide or Spanish classes and follow-up activities, we offer three hour classes with four hour guided or overnight activities . The week's guided schedule is pre-arranged, and you'll have one person dedicated to your instruction and adventure daily from Monday to Friday. Additional activities can be added on the weekends. (Pricing variable depending on selected activities - See Activities page ).
H. Medical Spanish Classes (available only in Yelapa )
Includes grammar training specific to medical professionals, observations in the clinic, and vocabulary and terminology training with a doctor. Offered twice yearly, in the fall and spring months (usually November and April) or customized to your schedule. See Medical Spanish .
I. Study Spanish Road Tours (One Week and Weekend) see www.StudySpanishRoadTours.com
Week Long Tours:
1. Pátzcuaro and Lake Pátzcuaro Region - Interior high plateau region settled by the Purepecha Indians who were never conquered by the Aztecs. A large population still speak their own language, and sing traditional music. Each village produces different crafts and art forms unique to their village. The region has some of the best national representations of traditional crafts. They currently still celebrate the traditional Night of the Dead candlelit overnight vigil awaiting their deceased loved one's return in the cemeteries. The region of Lake Pázctuaro is one of the few large lakes in the country. Locals continue their fishing and agricultural traditions and celebrate a unique blend of native and catholic ceremonies. The downtown market is one of the largest in the region. The seven islands have a rich history (eg. Jarácuaro produces sombreros and is home of music and dance typical to the region and some specific to the island).
(a) Pátzcuaro – Culture, Nature, Ruins Tour – (Inquire re: dates) Lake Pátzcuaro area is rich with a diversity of arts and handcrafts. Every village offers different specialties. Visit the towns in the region to view the lifestyles, traditions and craft. We'll tour the ruins of the two former Purepechan ancient ceremonial centres of Tzintzuntzan and Ihuatzio with a local anthropologist.
(b) Pátzcuaro – Day of the Dead/ Día de los Muertos – ( October 27 to November 3, 2013). The colours and beauty of the ceremonies to honor and await the return the deceased spirits of loved one at the home and the cemeteries is a beautiful tradition. It bring international visitors to this spectacular lake region. For shoppers of fine art and craft, there is the largest regional craft fair to browse, haggle and own incomparable art treasures.
(c) Pátzcuaro – Culture and Monarch Butterflies' Winter Sanctuary – (February 23-March 2, 2014) or Inquire re: other dates. Visit villages around Lake Pátzcuaro which each specialize in a different art and craft form. Then we enter the higher protected forested hills to witness the miracle of the Monarch Butterfly wintering grounds, just as they “awaken” and mate before the long voyage north.
2. Mountain Villages Tour - San Sebastian, Mascota to Talpa - (Inquire for dates), (Fiesta of San Sebastian January 20 th)
For more details (www.StudySpanishRoadTours.com)
A short drive 1.5 hrs up from Pto. Vallarta leads to the distinctly different world of mountain cultures. The mountain towns offer fascinating colonial architecture and history, mining and agricultural landscapes, with unique tiny villages above for day trips.
San Sebastian (pop. 1,000) at 4,856 ft (1,486 m), established in 1605, was the center of mining wealth and 20,000 people, with 25 mines by the mid-1800s extracting gold, silver and lead. It's a candidate town for UNESCO World heritage designation for unique mining and colonial history. Its picturesque and traditional architecture resulted in the 2011 designation of Pueblo Magico (magic town) – one of only 25 in the country! The fiesta of San Sebastian is held each year on January 20 th .
Mascota (pop.14,045) 4,200 ft (1,268 m) is a pretty colonial town of the friendliest people, and the cultural mecca to the mountain villagers. It's, 2.5 hours east of Puerto Vallarta and 3.5 hrs to Guadalajara. Mascota's wealth is its fertile valley soils, wildlife and fish. The indigenous archaeological artifacts are presented in a museum sponsored by National Geographic.
Talpa de Allende is a rustic village at 4,000 ft (1,236 m) of 10,000 people, founded in 1599 situated in a valley surrounded by pine covered mountains, only 25 min from Mascota. It is an important religious site in Mexico with the cherished Virgin Rosario of Talpa, a small icon revered for miracles performed since the mid-1600s. Pilgrims comes from week-long pilgrimages on foot, in groups of hundreds, over mountains and along deer trails, to seek help from the Virgin. Unique regional products.
3. Coastal Beach Towns -San Blas, Sayulita (Cultural Option: Mexcaltitlán and Huichol native community, Zitacua in Tepic.
Explore the mangrove estuaries of this vast water region and see the abundant bird and animal life. Visit the long secluded beaches full of birdlife, beach combing for shells, stones, treasures. Check out the surf culture in this very laid back Mexican gem of a town in one of the most exciting areas of the Pacific Coast.
Cultural Option : A day trip to meet various artists at the Huichol indigenous village of Zitacua in Tepic. There's also the tiny island village of Mexcaltitlán, north of San Blas, thought to be the origin home of the Aztecs.
4. Mountain Tour Combined with Beach Towns – Take in the highlights of the region combining 2 and 3 above.
• Weekend Tours – Exciting day and weekend trips in the Puerto Vallarta region.
1. San Sebastian del Oeste –Mountain Tour – Quaint mountain villages of San Sebastian and Real de Alto, former mining glory, high in pine/oak forests, spectacular views from Mt. Bufa, hikes along Rio San Sebastian to old Hacienda Jalisco, walk town cobbled streets that preserve 500 yrs of mountain culture in this “Pueblo Mágico” (heritage designation – “magic town” (2 days,1 night)
2. Botanical Gardens of Las Juntas y Los Veranos, Tuito village, Villa Azalea Organic Farm & Inn, Cajón de Peñas Lake – Gardens, hiking trails, river swim at Botanical Gardens, visit to Tuito town square, Arrive Villa Azalea Organic Farm (lunch), Cajón de Peñas lake for fishing or hiking. 1-2 hours south of Puerto Vallarta ( Optional: overnight at Villa Azalea or Tuito) (1-2 days, overnight)
3. Shopping Get-Aways – Puerto Vallarta downtown and boutiques of Sayulita (1 day)
4. Sayulita – Surfing, Beaches, Hiking, Birding, Shopping, Night-life, Archaeological site and Petroglyphs (2 days, 1 night)