The urge to use Google translator should be quelled when attempting to have a conversation in Puerto Vallarta. It might be great for looking up words but for putting together sentences, we recommend classes. Puerto Vallarta has a lot of language schools and tutors are also available. Many people move here with the expectation that everyone will speak English because there are so many expats. It’s wise to remember that foreigners are really in the minority and while your waiter might speak English, most locals have no cause to do so. It can be embarrassing going to the supermarket, asking for a good year in a wine selection and instead putting yourself in a situation of having propositioned someone. These things do happen. Though they are usually met with good humor, for those who like to do their own shopping, guide their own tours and meet the neighbors, it’s a good idea to have some lessons under your belt.
Self teaching is inspirational but you need to immerse yourself in the language, meaning: go out (of your comfort zone) and talk to people who do not speak English. Talk to the gardener, the taxi driver, the lady at the lavanderia, shopkeepers, school kids, and hey…try using your Spanish on the waiter who speaks English. He will appreciate your effort and everyone in Puerto Vallarta loves it when people test their skills. No one will laugh at you, though they may laugh with you.
Classroom settings make us get things done; assignments, conversing, and working on your strength in comprehension. There is something about showing up on time, doing the homework, and using the skills that encourages advancement.
Melchor’s in Versalles offers four levels of instruction so there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re learning the basics or determined to perfect your conjugation expertise, there will be a program to aid you, three hours a day, three times a week.
Stickman Spanish, which you can find on Facebook, has worked very well for a friend of ours who loves the one-on-one assistance he gets. Carmen, the teacher has great reviews.
You can also connect with Spanishland on Facebook or go to their website. Another option is to meet at Azafrán on Olas Altas on Tuesday mornings. For 100 pesos per hour, you get to learn from a certified teacher, with classes starting every hour on the hour. Another group that meets in Marina Vallarta holds classes on Tuesday and Thursdays from 3 – 5 pm. Check bulletin boards in grocery stores and shops in Puerto Vallarta, local English speaking newspapers, Facebook and Google. There’s something for everyone.
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Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article! (Opinions expressed are his own…)
About Vacation Villas of Mexico Founder, Vanessa Cole
The founder of the company, Vanessa Cole, lived in Puerto Vallarta for 10 years and in Cancun for 2 years. She has worked in Luxury Vacation Villa Rentals since 2001.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Vanessa earned a degree from the University of Texas in Austin, majoring in International Business and Latin American Studies. Fluent in Spanish, she has worked and traveled all over Mexico and South America.
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