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Academia Latino Americana de Espanol

About

Our organization has 26 years teaching Spanish in our schools of Ecuador, Perú and Bolivia, which are three World Heritage Sites.

Both our teaching method and the professional team of teachers, ensure a rapid, effective and fun language learning.

Our facilities are all located in the more strategic zones of each town , near of all main services and transport nets. Our schools are provided of several comfortable classrooms, video room, sunny patios with free WiFi, snack bar, library, etc.

Our educational offering ranging from regular Spanish language courses to specialized courses such as Medical, Business or diplomatic Spanish, Indigenous Culture, Latin-American literature, etc.

You may live with our host families or stay in our comfortable student residence.

We additionally offer the opportunity to join our Internship and Volunteering Programs at any of the social projects that work with us.

We know you will be a memorable experience!

Founded
1991

Reviews

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Alonzo
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My First Trip Abroad

Ecuador will always hold a special place in my heart because this was my first trip abroad. The staff at the Academia I am still in contact with today. Patty and Diego were extremely nice and always made sure my fellow classmates and myself we having a great experience. Patty even joined us on most excursions with her daughter Mariapaz. I spent a three weeks in Ecuador. While there, I took Spanish courses that I received college credit for, went on many educational and adventurous excursions. I enjoyed visiting Mindo Cloud Forest, Puerto Lopez and Los Frailes, this amazing private beach which was truly a dream. My favorite excursion was visiting Isla De La Plata and seeing sea turtles. I miss my Ecuadorian Mom, Patty, everyday. Gracias por su hospitalidad La Academia!

What would you improve about this program?
Nada! I enjoyed my first trip outside of the US with La Academia Latinoamericano De Español. Made lifelong friends and this first trip gave me the confidence to travel more!
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Kirk
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Community Member Accompanies School Group to Ecuador

Other than three Caribbean cruises complete with numerous shore excursions in Spanish-speaking countries (that know a lot of English), and several days spent in northern Mexico 35 years ago while in college, this was my first experience being in and living in a foreign country, and interacting with the citizens of that country in their native language (as much as possible). I want to travel more and enjoy such experiences more, and this opportunity included three aspects important to me - at least a sense of more safety (group travel, with a leader fluent in the language and who has done this many times), full immersion into the culture and language, and activities that included visits to both cultural sites and ecological sites. This was such a positive experience and it has only increased my desire for more!

My view of the world has changed in the sense that it seems to get smaller the more I travel outside of my country. These places are accessible, I just need to make it a higher priority to go! Most citizens of the USA take a lot for granted, and I imagine have expectations when they travel abroad that they will have everything they need as if they are home. I expected less than at home, but was not sure how that would play out once in Ecuador. What ended up standing out for me was 1) not flushing toilet paper, 2) not being able to drink the tap water, 3) many do not have clothes dryers, and 4) many do not have hot water at the bathroom or kitchen sinks. To some degree, I definitely feel spoiled.

I prepared as best I could for the language by using the Duolingo app on my phone – I probably averaged 1 – 1-1/2 hours every day, seven days a week (missing literally only a few days over the course of about six months). Knowing that the context of this trip was going with a college student group, I expected things to be done a bit differently than if I were with just my family or another group. Increased attention to safety, more rules to follow, the focus being on a learning and full immersion experience, the destination likely being at a standard of living below ours… I expected all of that.

Living in Quito, combined with living in a much smaller town the second half, gave us perspectives on both the big city and the more rural lifestyles in a foreign country – that is an important consideration to getting as full of an experience as possible. Living in Quito with a host family (as opposed to staying in a hotel, which was an option for I and my wife), while initially somewhat stressful, was something I wanted to force ourselves to do to gain that added experience, and I would definitely do that again. As the country’s capital, I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about its history and to visit some of its cultural sites.

Spanish language instruction was a highlight for me. This perhaps would not be a highlight of a ‘vacation’ for most people, but I feel ‘held back’ by not knowing Spanish at all, and I looked forward to learning some Spanish, and I plan to continue to learn more in one form or another. Another aspect of the program that I appreciated was having all the reservations, planning, and itinerary done for me. Experiencing both the city life and rural living was a highlight as well.

Touring the cultural sites in Quito’s ‘Old Town’ and the half day on the ocean beach were my favorites. My least favorite activity was Agua Blanco (I would have spent the whole day at the beach!). Note on visiting the cultural sites in Old Town – I suggest staying in Old Town and going inside more of the sites, and skip the site further away (the huge statue, I don’t remember its name); at our first stop in Old Town all we could do was get off the bus, take pics, then get on the bus and go to the next place. Also, a note on the service project – I know plans changed (probably multiple times), but explain in as much detail as possible what we are going to be doing once we get off the bus and the plans are finalized; I started cleaning and painting tires that I safely (and correctly) assumed would be for a play area, but after lunch we started sanding and painting bed headboards and I wasn’t sure why until I saw them also going over to the play area as part of an obstacle course.

It has been over two months since we returned home from this trip, and I still practice Spanish daily with Duolingo. I may take a Spanish course at the college this fall. The college is going to Peru next year, and we are interested in that trip!!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Cuy, which is guinae pig. It is a delicacy in Ecuador (tastes like turkey, haha!)
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Brooke
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience like no other

I went to Quito for a medical learning experience through Child Family Health International. Included in the program were Spanish classes at the Academia. I was a beginner-level speaker, and was placed one-on-one with a teacher who helped me become much more confident in my Spanish by the end of the program. I was able to better communicate with staff at the Academia as well as my host family because of these well crafted, individualized courses. Not to mention, the people here are the warmest and friendliest I’ve ever met, as they helped me through an unexpected hospitalization at the beginning of my trip. You really can’t go wrong with this program because of the astounding quality of the people who run it. I highly recommend to anyone who wants to learn Spanish, as the immersive experience leaves you with a better grasp on the language than you could ever expect to receive from other programs.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Hospitalizing myself for altitude sickness with little Spanish skills. The people of CFHI and the academia were SO helpful and came to my side for translation and for comfort. By the end of the experience I felt I had improved upon my Spanish and I had made a few friends. I never would have gotten through it without the amazing staff at the Academia and CFHI.
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Warren
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Review

I spent 2 months at the school in Quito, Ecuador and 2 months at the school in Cusco, Peru. Not only did my comprehension and usage of the Spanish language improve exponentially, but I also had the best 4 months of my entire life. My classes never contained more than 3 students, and it was nice to be able to move through the curriculum as fast (or as slow) as I wanted to. On the weekends, I had the pleasure of traveling to many different breathtaking landmarks that lie within these magnificent countries. Through my travels and the information I learned from my professors and host families, I was truly able to appreciate the differences between various cultures. Everyone involved with the program was very welcoming, and they made it easy to adapt to a new life in a foreign country. La academia latinoamericana de español has so much to offer! I hope to return some day.

What would you improve about this program?
The host families associated with this program that I met were absolutely wonderful. I wish there was a way they could be compensated more for the care, guidance, and services that they provide students.
Default avatar
Fatima
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent experience!

The standard of academic instruction in Spanish at the La Academia is outstanding. The team provides multiple layers of support both in and out of the classroom. The culture of the city and it’s incredible landmarks also play into academic instruction. My Spanish levels have improved tremendously after studying and taking structured classes at the La Academia. I would HIGHLY recommend this Language Academy to anyone considering studying Spanish abroad. The school also has a department that assists with traveling around Ecuador and other parts of Latin America so be sure to inquire if this is something that you would like to do while there. The majestic beauty of the school is located in what reminds me of a Tuscan Villa. Best experience ever

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Allow yourself to push your language learning boundaries and be uncomfortable! That’s where the learning happens!

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I visited in 2010 and took 5 days of Spanish classes, as well as touring cultural and natural sites. I was incredibly impressed with the structure and resources available. All I had to do was give the Academia my desired itinerary, and they took care of all of the details--from housing to meals, to classes, to excursions.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I took my Intercultural Communication classes in 2011 (12 students) and 2017 (16 students), and I simply sent my desired itinerary to Academia. They did the rest! My students stayed (in pairs) with host families, we all had 4 hours of Spanish a day for 10 days, and we went on a number of excursions. We also served at Neque y Mas Neque, a latchkey program for kids 6-12.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Be aware of your own ethnocentrism! Realize that you will be stepping far outside of your comfort zone, and that's a good thing. Embrace and value difference. Engage in perspective-taking. Try new foods. Be open to new experiences. Take risks. Always try to speak the language! Most of all, trust yourself and others. Play. Have fun!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Classes in the morning, lunch, excursions or service in the afternoons, and some free time on weekends. You will have four hours of Spanish a day, but it won't all be in the classroom. Sometimes you might go for ice cream or to the soccer field. You might watch movies or shop at the local market. The important thing is that you will experience total cultural immersion, and that will transform you.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I didn't really have fears, but was anxious about my students' willingness to step out of their comfort zones. I prepared them well by having a week of intense work on campus prior to our departure. In both 2011 and 2017, the students did a terrific job of being open to difference, change, and new perspectives.

What was the best part of your trip?

In 2017, one of my students slipped on wet pavement and severely sprained his wrist. He had immediate and excellent (and inexpensive) medical care, but missed our visit to Mitad del Mundo (the Equator). We had a shirt made for him that said in Spanish: "My class visited Mitad del Mundo, and all I got was this stupid shirt!" When we did our waterfall hike in the cloud forest of Bellavista, he assured me that even with his wrist in a splint, he could climb the waterfalls, and amazingly, he did!