Thursday, April 14, 2011

Costa Rica Spanish School

About Us
Welcome to the Costa Rica Spanish School that you will not want to leave. Our Spanish School has been developed over the years and is now what many consider the best place to live in all of Costa Rica. Don't let the secret out though we like our life-style of living in the beautiful cool calm mountains with views of the smoking Turrialba Voclano in place you will never forget called Sitio de Mata.

Sunset view from Sitio de Mata
It started 10 years ago when Tom Ranieri started rafting the Pacuare River. His closest friend Marlon was from a nearby village called Sitio de Mata where Tom stayed during his rafting years.  It was here that Tom's future company Costa Rican Resource began bringing student groups to do homestays and show the kids some of the most amazing people on Earth. Tom describes one of the best moments in this village: "Every group we walk up to a ridge just 10 minutes from the houses and sit there with the groups students as a number of sloths look down on us and we all watch the sun set over the Turrialba Volcano lighting up the sky and seeing an endless row of mountains turn to darkness". Tom's partner Marlon has been running things in Sitio de Mata with no intention of making things bigger.  The idea of our project is to keep it simple with first class service from learning linguistics to being surrounded by the "real Costa Rica".

The "Dream Team" of Homestay Moms
The name of the village is Sitio de Mata and it is called the eternal Spring. Here you will notice there are no bars on the windows as in many parts of Costa Rica But you aren't out in the middle of nowhere either. You are just a 15 minute bus ride to the larger town of Turrialba and in the small village of Sitio de Mata you see the valley below and across the valley is a nice little or big treat of the smoking Turrialba Volcano. This is such a scenic area that even one of Costa Rica's smallest but finest hotels is in the area. The Hacienda Tayutic is just in front of your classroom. It is such the perfect setting that even George Clooney made the suprise visit to relax in this rural village of complete paradise just to get away from it all. But what makes for the perfect environment for a Costa Rica Spanish school is so much more as you can see in the video below:


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Got Candy?
Our idea is to show the value of living in a community and the importance to the young kids in the area and visiting students to experience the beautiful area of Sitio de Mata. This Costa Rica Spanish school is very limited on space and does not open itself up to large groups. You will often find just around 15 students in the total school and many times less.

What has made this Spanish school the huge success it has been is without a doubt the people of the village. Yes, it is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Costa Rica away from all the hussle and bussle but the real beauty of this village comes from it's people.

If you want to learn Spanish and be forced to talk it in all moments of the day then this is the school for you. If you want to experience a Spanish School in Costa Rica not only on a different culture level but experience it in making friendships that will last a lifetime then this is the school for you. Join us as we take you into the  village of Sitio de Mata and you can be a part of our Sitio de Mata Project which has been a positive influence on the village and more importantly everyone who visits can take some of the easy way of life back to their societies abroad.
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DONA FRESSY
Dona Fressy con Aranza
The idea for our Spanish School was to give more people visiting Costa Rica a chance to visit this amazing village and also to visit Dona Fressy. Dona Fressy is the mother of Marlon who was Tom's rafting buddy in the Pacuare. After Tom started bringing student groups and other families to visit Dona Fressy we started to see the impact these visits had on people. Some groups would do everything from sending Fressy beautiful gifts, cards, to returning year after year. It was the simplicity of living that got everyone's attention of how Dona Fressy not only got herself to a very comfortable simple style of living but also rallied up the entire village to be a village of constant social activities and improvements of everything from education to unique conservation projects. As a byproduct of sharing their culture with visitors, the young people of the village have developed into one of the best Costa Rica dance groups in the area.

The awareness of Dona Fressy did not go un-noticed. In 2009 Dona Fressy to nobodies surprise was honored with an award that is based on an international level for making a positive impact on the environment through her community work.
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CLASSES


Last day of Classes
Your classes during your stay in Sitio de Mata are located with views of the valley below. The weather is perfect and the sounds of birds will fill the air as you try and get all those new verbs conjugated. Just like the village our goal is to try and make things simple for you. Your classes will be small never more than 5 students to a class.

Everyday classes will begin at 8am and go until 12pm; and you will get a break during your four hour sessions. Wednesday classes are the community class where we take you outside of the classroom and into the city to either visit a fruit market, stores, or many other daily activities that you might encounter.

The classes are also operated on the level of Spanish that you feel comfortable with. Upon arrival you will be placed into a beginner, intermediate, or advance level. We want you to feel as if nobody is holding you back or that you are not holding anyone else back in the class so comfort of being at the right level is one of our most important qualities when looking to place you into the right level.

Our teachers are all qualified University trained and Costa Rican natives. Don't worry we plan on filling you in on all the native slang of Costa Rica.

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Homestays


Homestay Room 
Tom Ranieri has been dealing with homestays all over Costa Rica for the last 12 years. Tom says he considers these families "...the Dream Team of Homestays, without a doubt these are the families everyone wants to be part of". The only problem is that student groups always want to go back and visit these families making the itineraries of student groups always stopping in Sitio de Mata year after year.

The average income of the families of Sitio de Mata is lower than those of the Central Valley and it is a nice economic boost to the family to have a guest in the house. What we like best about having this school here is that we can not only teach those interested in learning Spanish but we can also teach that living simple can be a good living.  You will notice so much fun and laughter filled with times of quietness and peace as you enjoy your homestay and this village. You will also see that the living simple can also mean living very clean and comfortable. You have all the community of family members around and also less noise and more space as compared to being confined to the city.

Another important note about our homestays is the food. There is much attention and time invested into making each meal a special meal and something that is not just there for a filler. You will enjoy some of the freshest fruit drinks and also some of the most amazing meals as you will want to bring your homestay family back in your suitcase.

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Day Tours


Whitewater Rafting Costa Rica
Pacuare River
National Geographic has the Pacuare River as one of the top five rivers on the planet and just so you know, it is running in the back yard of the Sitio de Mata Village. So you can imagine that getting you rafting during your stay is not a problem. There are rivers for everyone in the area. If you are looking for adventure then we will take you on the Pacuare River Rafting Adventure or even more. If you just want an easier ride we will take you on the Pejibaye River.

Rappeling Waterfalls
There is also the tour of rappeling waterfalls which is quite the adventure. We will gear you up and get your ready for one of the most exciting adventures of your stay. This is a half day trip and we can have you back in the village before it is time for dinner.

Coffee Tour
When it comes to Costa Rica we all know it is time for coffee. There are a number of plantations in the Turrialba area and the process of learning how to get the coffee from the plant to your cup is quite interesting.
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INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Dona Fressy Crafts
Every student visiting Sitio de Mata gets some activities included. The most unforgetable is always hanging out with Dona Fressy. She will teach you everything you need to know about living simple and making it work for you. Fressy has been awarded prizes on an international level for her recycling initiatives. She is also the one incharge of our included activities which is a 2 hour a week course on working with recycled goods. She could probably make the plane you plan to fly home on out of a milk carton if you asked her to. She also is quite the bag lover and most opt to learn how she makes bags and wallets.

Dance Classes
See you soon
There is much discussion of which Latin American country has the best dancers. That is a subject we will not even dare to bring up but we will say that in Sitio de Mata they do quite the job of giving you the basics on how to get that mojo going. Your dance lessons will be for one hour a week and you will learn the basics of Salsa and Merengue.

Cooking Classes




If you get hungry which never seems to be the case in the Sitio de Mata cooking classes because your homestays have amazing cooks, don't worry because you will be an expert tortilla maker after your one hour a week of learning how to make tortillas. Chances are your first tortilla will come out looking like the shape of Florida but after a few tries you will get it.


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We have to get back before dinner!!!

Prices
1-Week $290
2-Week $580
3-Week $870
4-Week $1160

1 comment:

  1. I have been looking to learn spanish since long time and I am glad that i found online website gotpanish.com that offers Free Spanish Classes. They offers LIVE one-way video chat that is very helpful for those who are looking to learn spanish online.

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