I live in Costa Rica, struggling with my limited Spanish, and a friend recommended Habla Ya in Boquete, Panama as an alternative to some of the more expensive alternatives locally.
I contacted Habla Ya and they quickly make arrangements to accommodate my need for private classes at their school in Boquete. I chose 30 hour a week private lessons and full immersion with a Panamanian Family for three weeks. The staff at the school took care of everything including finding the family, directions for getting to David from the border, and transport from David to Boquete.
Once at the school they quickly put me to work with my instructor Alex Cano, and his associates. During my first lunch break, they transported me to my host family's house, introduced me to my new "roommate" and let me drop off my luggage.
Habla Ya uses a brilliant technique of daily lessons along with constant practice, daily and hourly. After my 2nd class I was not allowed to use English at all anymore which forces you to start thinking in Spanish immediately. An average class would consist of greetings and conversational speaking about your day and previous night. The instructors pretty much let you talk about anything you want as long as it's in Spanish. If you break into your mother tongue, the instructor will quickly move you back towards the lesson or prompt you to change languages. So there was constant pressure to stay "on point" but you had plenty of freedom and encouragement to talk about anything you wanted. But they were happy to engage with you on any topic.
The class would end with some sort of homework which generally was based on the lessons for the day.
At the end of the day (which was about 3pm local time for me) you were allowed to continue using the wifi or school facilities for as long as the place was open. There were plenty of restaurants, stores, tourist attractions, and markets within easy walking distance (including a modern public library). Reception would help me with anything I needed from finding coconut oil to taking a tour of the local volcano, Baru.
The host family in Boquete consisted of an elderly lady who rented out space to among others, her son and his wife. She was nice, cooked me two meals a day and regularly engaged me in conversation (especially at meal time)….oh yeah and she also did my laundry.
Boquete itself, is beautiful. The air is fresh and sometimes cool but everything is within easy walking distance and taxi's are very inexpensive (less than a dollar for places in and around Boquete itself).
I would definitely recommend the school for any aspiring to learn Spanish. It was a wonderful experience that improved my Spanish dramatically. Thanks to Alex and the entire staff at Habla Ya Boquete!!!