Equator Gringos

October 8, 2007

Joy’s Spanish School

Filed under: Ecuador — Tags: , , , , — lstollin @ 8:28 pm

Luke very graciously agreed to let me write a “guest post” on his blog (I’ll probably never go to the trouble of setting up my own) so that I can tell everyone about my Spanish classes – Joy.

I found out shortly after arriving in Quito that I lucked out – Ecuador is apparently one of the best countries in the world to learn Spanish. This is because people here speak relatively slowly and clearly, and the Spanish they speak is easily understood in other Spanish speaking countries. But there were more than 80 Spanish schools to choose from, so I went to the South American Explorer’s Club for advice. They have all kinds of information for travelers – including a list of recommended Spanish schools in Ecuador. I asked the folks at the club which of the schools on the list they could personally recommend…

The Cristobal Colon School was the cheapest of the three they mentioned – which made the decision simple for me (those of you who know me know that I’m CHEAP). And because I’m a member of the SAEC, I got a discount – so the rate was only $4 an hour! The school is also in a great location – each day I either took the trolley or a bus to & from the school, and after my lessons I could walk from the school to the Santa Clara market (only 2 or 3 blocks away) to buy a kilo of blackberries for $2.50(!). I also walked from the school to the Mariscal District (or Gringolandia if you’re a local) several times to have lunch. I’m including a picture of the two teachers I had, Carina and Rita. They were both incredibly patient, funny, smart, and helpful, and made me feel so welcome in Quito. ¡Muchas gracias, Carina y Rita!

I took six weeks of lessons – about 3 or 4 hours a day each day, and my last day was this past Friday. I definitely think it’s helping me, but I need a lot more practice! (When Luke and I are together it’s just so much easier to speak in English.) Anyway, I just can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed these lessons, and how much it’s empowering me to do things for myself. Today I went car shopping, and managed to speak quite a bit of Spanish with the vendor (even though the car turned out to be a dud)!

I’ve got to be one of the luckiest women on earth – not working, learning another language, and experiencing a new culture in a BEAUTIFUL country. ¡Que bueno!



  1. […] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

    Pingback by Spanish Blogosphere » Blog Archive » Joy’s Spanish School — October 9, 2007 @ 7:51 am

  2. You deserve it! And I’m glad you feel so happy there, it sounds great. Are you going to buy a car? Sounds like a great adventure. Avoid work as long as you can and take advantage of this time.

    Comment by bobbie — October 9, 2007 @ 6:18 pm

  3. You are looking so great and relaxed – I do believe Quito is agreeing with you – thank you for the extra info – it helps to picture where you are.

    Comment by Bettye Halperin — October 10, 2007 @ 9:37 am

  4. Joy! It’s so fun to read about you but even more fun to look at the pictures! Thanks for all your effort in creating this blog! We missed you at the reunion – it was nice & weird seeing everyone 20 years later! I couldn’t believe some people & others I knew right away! There is one guy I still think was a ‘party crasher” if you know what I mean…I have NO recollection of him!
    Well, hey I want to send you a Christmas card but I don’t know where to send it & I’m too ignorant to understand where to find your address on this blog! Please send it – Love you, Andrea : )

    Comment by Andrea Grubbs — December 19, 2007 @ 10:10 am

  5. Hi Joy,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. It remembered me when I learned Spanish in Quito. I don’t remember though that there have been 80 schools around but less. Maybe it changed during the time.

    I totally agree that the clear pronunciation made it really easy to learn the language. I traveled also to Argentina and Chile where they had a totally different dialect. The Chileans where very difficult to understand – if you can understand them at all!

    4 USD per lesson is a very good price. I took lessons at Ailola Quito Spanish School and it was a great experience, too. Only thing missing is a visit to the Galapagos Islands. I didn’t have the budget time back as student ;-) Well, I’m still planning to do it some day. It must be awesome except the many tourists going there nowadays ….


    Comment by Bryan — November 4, 2015 @ 12:49 pm

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