Spanish Immersion at Veracruz's Spanish Language Immersion Schools

The Language Immersion School,    Veracruz's Spanish Immersion

American owned and operated. Lodging, meals, and materials are included. Come to Veracruz by plane (we'll meet you at the airport), bus, or car. Non-traditional Spanish immersion optimizes your learning in this especially safe, very friendly city.   (About Us--click here)

Spanish Immersion works best when you're doing dazzling things (and talking about them)

Mexico, Veracruz, and Spanish Study--Our Blog


Back Home and Life Is Great

We’ve been back two weeks. We got the building opened up, cleaned up, stocked, and school is in session. Everything is back to normal. And normal, down here, is a wonderful life.

Our daughter is doing very well. Things couldn’t be going better for her. We’re not worried about the future. Surely it’s an especially good sign when even the parents are no longer scared.

We might return to Phoenix in a couple of months to be with her for one more step. We don’t have to be there; she won’t need us. It’s just, I think, that we need to be there (even though we’re unneeded). Parenthood isn’t necessarily logical.

As soon as we saw that our daughter’s results were coming back in the “very good” range, we relaxed enough to enjoy doing things. Linda played the piano by the hour. She plays beautifully. I sat and listened by the hour.

The flow of results stayed very good. We let ourselves (when she didn’t need help) spend time acting like tourists—shopping, daytrips, museums. But always, as a background to everything, we were just so thankful that all was well.

And today, with life back to wonderful

and so much happy stuff to do, in the background we’re still just so thankful.
by Eric, July 14, 2015
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Caught Red-Handed

I had picture perfect proof.You know I take the snapshots in my blogs. And I enjoy doing it. But this pic was for me and Linda.

I shot this one from the front door. And then I nonchalantly crossed the street and slithered along the sidewalk until I could get almost a close-up. In case this was a crime scene, I wanted a clear-as-a-bell ID shot.

It’s hard, you know, to be subtle while holding a camera up in the air in front of your face. The phone man spotted me. I wish I’d gotten that shot. He wasn’t into phone-man-action-photos.

He had me, yes, but I had him right back. In the close-up I caught him red-handed. I caught him with his hand in the cookie jar. I caught him wrist-deep messing around in our Internet connection box.

Three times phone men have been in the box and all three times we lost internet. This time I had him dead to rights, and I was itching to march downtown with the close-up and shout, “j’accuse.” (I took French in college.)

But this time, lo and behold, we never lost our internet.

Moral of this story:
An ounce of prevention is better than pounding down the street to the phone company.

by Eric, Feb 2, 2015
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All Is Well—I Was Taking a Rest

The fun and happiness of Veracruz continues—it’s one of those always-has-been-and-always-will-be things. And it’s wonderful.

But after more than 350 blogs, I needed a rest.

Now it feels good to be writing again. I like doing math with pencil and paper, and yet when I write I like the feeling of typing. It’s feeling so good that I’m ready to type out an entire book. (Lacking a good story, I won’t be so presumptuous to try to write one.)

The closing months of my rest period included Thanksgiving and Christmas. Down here life is happy all the time, and it’s like being on a perpetual vacation. This makes Thanksgiving and Christmas especially meaningful.

Great stuff is coming to a head. Daniel has finished a high quality master’s in business administration and is posed to jump any day now into Corporate Mexico. Paula has only weeks left to finish her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Denisse is all done with her bachelor’s; it’s in tourism. Angelica has two semesters to go to complete her accounting degree.

That they all are having such great success made the holiday season even better. We’re proud of then, of course. But much more, we feel that special comfort that comes from knowing that people we care about so much have secure futures out ahead of themselves.

Linda and I have given ourselves a work present. We gave ourselves a new program to design. Getting to know everyone who comes to school is the most fun about being in business (if you really want to call this a business). And designing programs is the next most fun.

Maybe I’ll type a book about program design for small language schools that limit class size to two students and individualize instruction and have a highly conversational class delivery style and … I can see buyers standing in line by the thousands.
by Eric, Jan 14, 2015
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I’ve Waited 10 Years---

Veracruz has its very own folk music and dance, and it’s incredible.

The music is called Son Jarocho. The main instrument is a jarana—a stringed instrument that comes in five sizes ranging from bass to high soprano).

Joe (a guitar playing English teacher) bought himself a jarana this week. It’s handmade and his hands helped make it. It was built in the workshop of the world famous Son Jarocho group, Mono Blanco.

Just as guitars and ukuleles and banjos all have their own sound, so do jaranas. And Joe’s sounds just right. It’s a full voiced, percussive sound that accentuates the singing and drives the strong rhythm of the dancing.

As I sat after lunch holding it, I was so happy for him. A fine quality jarana is a treasure. For ten years I’ve wanted one. I was slow in handing it back.

Joe with his handmade jarana, and and with our handmade jarana--a very wonderful, very specialpresent to us from JoeJoe took his jarana up to his room and then came right back down    jarana in hand.

“For the school,” Joe said, “and for you and Linda to enjoy.”

He handed me the jarana. It too was built by members of Mono Blanco. Its voice is full and firm; the workmanship is excellent. It too is a treasure, a treasure I’ll treasure forever.

Here’s a snapshot showing Joe with his new jarana and our (thanks to him) new jarana.

by Eric, July 21, 2014
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“I was incredibly impressed with the professionalism and patience…”

Hi Linda,

It took me a little while to get this written but I knew from the time I left that I wanted to extend my thanks for a wonderful trip and learning experience in Veracruz.

I was incredibly impressed with the professionalism and patience of your teachers but also their ability to teach at whatever level we were at. Everyone of them that I worked with was great and just really good people.

I told my parents that I learned more in 2 weeks there than I did in 2 years of high school Spanish.

Also, it was nice to meet you and Eric and see your involvement to make it the best experience possible for us.

I would recommend it to any of my friends interested in a language immersion experience.

Thanks again,

May 26, 2014
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Medical Records

A lot of money has been spent and is being spent on solving the problem of capturing and saving (in easily retrievable form) the records of your visits to the doctor.

Hardware and software for Medical Records is a huge industry. Networking the multitude of databases is an almost (but if you throw enough dough at it, not quite) insurmountable problem.

Privacy and security push our current technology to the limit.

A design engineer working on large computer systems once told me that in America we over-engineer everything. It’s made us great, but it also causes us to overlook the obvious.

A highly skilled well respected local doctor has a great solution to Medical RecordsA local (very well thought of) doctor hasn’t overlooked the obvious. She was capturing our medical history—real-time input to the medical record file as we were giving her our information—on a very compact, very user-friendly, very un-costly little yellow typewriter.

I'm considering going public with this concept. You know, have a public offering and make a trillion dollars. I won’t do it as a dot-com; that’s old thinking. It’ll be a dot-typewriter.
by Eric, April 24, 2014
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An ABD and a PS

Yep, an ABD was here last week. She’s been here several times already, and we’re always so very happy to have her back. But this is the first time she was an ABD, and it’s the first time I ever heard the acronym.

All But Dissertation is what it stands for. She’s in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. ABD is a big deal (this must be an old and tired joke, but I just made it up). All of the requirements for her doctorate are completed with the exception of her dissertation.

I feel like a newspaper reporter with a story that I have to withhold. I think I know what her topic is, but I can’t say yet. It’s a procedural thing; it’s a fascinating topic and will be the part of everyone’s future. I’ll report it, in some future blog, just as soon as I’m released from this, my first ever, journalistic confidence.

Karma Fierson (on her way to being Karma Fierson PhD) was staying with us at The Language Immersion School in Veracruz, Mexico when she received notification that she is being awarded a Fultright Scholarship.Karma Fierson is a terrific young woman. Not only is she bright as they come, she also has a great personality. Give her ten years, and you’ll be seeing her name all over in the literature.

The more I think about her dissertation topic (remember I’ll discuss it with you just as soon as I can) the more I see it to be of great social importance. I say this in full seriousness.

P.S. I forgot the reason I’m writing this blog.

While Karma was here at school she received notification that she has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. This, too, is ABD (in the “a big deal” sense).

From Wikipedia I lifted these words. “The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide, operating in over 155 countries. Fifty-three Fulbright alumni have won Nobel Prizes; seventy-eight have won Pulitzer Prizes.” Given her dissertation topic, we expect that Karma...
by Eric, April 12, 2014
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Chair, Cushion, Towels, and, . . .

This is story about the evolution of a design project. Nothing less than a perfect final design was the requirement.

First I set down the design criteria, then I set down, in place, the first of the various object involved in the design. Then, testing as I went, down went additional objects until the exact outcome was obtained. And then I set myself down.

Because of having a thick knuckle bone, I’m playing a close cousin of a classical guitar. It accommodates my fat knuckle by having a curved fingerboard. But the body of the guitar is oversize, and I have to have myself placed at exactly the right height above the floor to fit myself correctly around this wonderful but too large instrument.

Testing for a correct outcome at every step, I started with a chair, added a cushion, added a towel, added another, added another and another.

I fit.

My music playing throne was a little unstable. Towel stacking isn’t a good approach to furniture design. Bedspreads (denser fabrics), instead of towels, were where I was headed next. Between the project assembly workspace and the linen closet, Linda interceded.

Replacing a stack of towels sitting on a chair, The Language Immersion School in Veracruz has a very stable, very comfortable guitar stool.She sees so many things so clearly.

We went to the store and bought a silly looking, overly expensive, absolutely stable, totally-successfully-designed, comfortable-as-can-be stool.

by Eric, April 7, 2014
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Our Marina

Actually, I confess, to say “our marina” is a bit of an exaggeration.

It’s not ours. But it is at our corner. But the corner, of course, isn’t ours either.

Language is wonderful; so many things are ours that aren’t our at all. The marina is at the end of the block where our street falls into the ocean.

Marina is an unearned term. So far it’s a very nice set of berths protected by a half-finished breakwater and with no utilities or services. It’s been almost three years in construction. It could take several more. It’s a political football.

When it’s done we’ll have another great walk out into the ocean—right now we have the inner and outer seawalls. They’re terrific. But this one, now designated as our seawall surrounding our marina at our corner where our street falls into (can’t make myself do this one) everybody’s ocean, will be only a minute from school.

At the end of The Language Immersion School's street, only half a block away, is Veracruz's new marina.So that you have an idea of all of this as a true marina, I’ve included a snapshot. The sailboats were here; there’s no photoshopping of this picture. It gives you a look into (once more for good luck) our town’s probably-quite-distant future. by Eric, April 2, 2014
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Don’t Try This At Home

You’ve got to be really lucky or live around really great people for this to trick to work out.

Here’s what to do. [1] Go to Dairy Queen and have a banana split for yourself and for the extra especially special person with you a Blizzard. [2] Get so wrapped up in the pleasure of ice cream and warm and loving company that you lose “situational awareness.”

[3] Go next door to the grocery store (substitute any good sized store you like if you wish to try this yourself. [4] Walk around for about ten minutes selecting items and placing then in your cart (or whatever the store you selected has).

[5] Start heading to the checker and notice that the so very dazzlingly important person with you doesn’t have her purse strapped around her neck.

[6] Panic remembering that you left it hanging from a chair in DQ.

[7] Be reasonable—accept that it’s gone—and finish buying your groceries (or whatever).

It gets better.

[8] On a whim--a tragic and miserable and hopeless whim—return to DQ.

[9] And smile. And be happy yet once again that the people of Veracruz are wonderful.

The Language Immersion School is so very often appreciative of and thankful for the wonderful people of Veracruz. by Eric, Mar 26, 2014
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Like Being At The End Of Your Rope

But it wasn’t a rope. It was a ladder.

We’ve seen many amazing ways of using ladders down here. It would give an OSHA agent ulcers. But this type of stuffy, bureaucratic outlook (as we all know) severely limits human ingenuity.

The better thing is to view using ladders in these atypical applications as being creative, inventive, and superbly resourceful.

The Language Immersion School captures a cliffhanger at the Cathedral in VeracruzWhen I spotted him he was about half way down. I followed him, rung-by-rung, to the bottom. The next step was about thirty feet.

I was in a hurry and couldn’t hang on (sorry) to see his next move.

But you know it came out fine or I wouldn’t be writing about it. (I checked the paper the next morning—everything okay.)

And now, contrary to how you may have felt for years, you know that in this high tech world of ours hanging a ladder over the edge of a cliff can be a very ingenious, very good solution.
by Eric, Mar 18, 2014
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“Escape the dreary English winter and enjoy the delights of ‘real’ Mexico”

{Here’s Caroline’s message to us.}
Hi Linda

I am attaching a copy letter which I sent to the Sunday Telegraph (a national paper with a very wide circulation) in response to a request for tips and recommendations for travel to Mexico.

To my amazement it was published today!

We're off to Chile on Thursday can't wait!

My Spanish teacher is very impressed by my fluency and I'm working hard to keep it up - I've been going to Language Cafés at Plymouth University to speak with Spaniards living here - good fun.

Caroline T.

{These are Caroline’s words about us that were printed in the Sunday Telegraph}
Subject: Mexico Language Immersion School Veracruz

Improve your Spanish, escape the dreary English winter and enjoy the delights of "real" Mexico in safe but vibrant Veracruz.

The very reasonable Immersion School is staffed by young enthusiastic university students or recent graduates.

Four hours of individual or one to two classes are broken up by two hours exploring the city with a Spanish speaker - visiting markets, museums, cafés or just wandering along the waterfront watching the huge container ships manoeuvering in and out of the busy port.

Weekly field trips using local buses explored ancient cities, deserted beaches, rivers teaming with wildlife and varied countryside.

Evenings and weekends were free to experience the warmth of Veracruz - boat trips, impromptu musical performances everywhere including rather alarmingly a mouth organ playing taxi driver, watching locals at leisure and savouring the mouthwatering food - all in blue skies and sunshine. A perfect way to spend January.
by Caroline, Mar 13, 2014
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We let a big fish get away.

We didn’t know how big a big fish this one was until today.

Ana’s been with us all through her college years. About seven months ago she was hired by the Wax Museum to work on promotion and tourism. It was a good start for someone just out of school.

Within months she got stolen away by Sam’s Club. Today she dropped by to tell us she had completed Sam’s Club management training (with high honors) and is being assigned to the store in Cordoba.

Ana is headed for her first management job, and it'll lead to a great future.She’ll be the manager over receiving and shipping. When you think of the sales volume in a Sam’s you see she’s starting in a job with big bucks responsibility. She’ll have around thirty employees under her charge. We’re very proud of her.

As is typical in so very many countries, down here women most often simply don’t get the good jobs. But Ana’s got one. She’s proof that Mexico is changing, and (more being so proud of her) she’s changing Mexico.

We let big fish get away. In fact, we hold the door open and hug them goodbye.

We’re never glad they’re gone, but we’re always glad they went.
by Eric, Mar 9, 2014
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The Taco Stand Looks Okay, But Is The Meat Fresh?

Fresh pork hanging in front of a taco stand close to The Language Immersion School in Veracruz.That stuff looks so good.

Walking by a sidewalk taco stands is almost torture.

It smells so good. You want some so bad.

But it’s scary.

You investigate.

Are others eating them? This is a pretty good indicator (wisdom of the crowd).

Does it look clean—very, very clean? This tells us a lot.

Is the meat really fresh?

Knowing this requires great luck. You have to happen to be in the right place at the right time.

by Eric, Mar 7, 2014
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Supply Chain Expansion

Ford, General Motors, General Electric, The Language Immersion School, all great companies must continually assure a constant inflow of materials and services needed for their production processes.

Adding another helpful source to our Supply Chain for products not available in Mexico--Destination, The Language Immersion SchoolVery, very often it is necessary to have multiple supply sources to draw upon i.e. to have multiple input sources.

I, of course (and it’s an automatic part of my truly diligent nature), pay close attention to assuring a steady, unbroken influx of goods.

And constantly I’m watching for opportunities to fortify and expand our various supply chains.

Carolyn, for example, is a new addition to an exceptionally important supply chain. She brought down some Fig Newtons (original flavor).

Committed business guy that I am, I find the successful handling of this business function—supply chain expansion—to be very rewarding.
by Eric, Jan 14, 2014
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Great Job! Super, Super Pics! And All In Spanish

Daniel and the staff have prepared a website in Spanish talking about or immersion.  There are lots of great pics.Daniel led the design team. The team was the staff. The project was to build, in their own words and, of course, in Spanish, a website about school. The website is totally independent of our main website (the one you entered to get here).

Daniel did a tremendous job with pictures. And things are set up so it is easy to add more. If you have a favorite picture from your time down here, send it to us. Daniel will add it in. (If you haven’t been to school, we hope you’ll come down, have a wonderful time, learn lots of Spanish, and leave Daniel a photo.)

The guideline that we (Linda and Eric) gave for the project was to build, in terms of content and design, a site that is typical of the sites of smaller companies in Mexico.

The Spanish is formal. There is an economy of verbiage. The visuals are a delight.

So, into your browser, cut and paste and come see what Daniel and the team have developed.
by Eric, Dec 16, 2013
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More Than Just A Crowning Touch

We have great medical care here in Veracruz. The doc’s are fully US/Canada/Europe quality. The hospitals are very good.

It’s true that the medical instrumentation is usually one revision out of date. In the US when the brand new stuff comes out, the currently in-use instrumentation is sold off to Mexico and elsewhere.

But the equipment being retired today was super yesterday day and will still be super tomorrow.

Dentistry here is every bit as good as medicine. And since fitting out a dentist’s office is much less expensive than fitting out a hospital, dentists usually buy new, high-end equipment.

Students at The Language Immersion School often partake of high quality dental care while in Veracruz.Part of not being a youngster anymore is that life, although I don’t know how it can, gets better every year. Another part is root canals, crowns, and bridges.

I joined the crowd last week. Two months ago a student did the same. He combined immersion, paradise (Veracruz), and dentistry all in one trip. What he saved on the dentistry paid for immersion and paradise.

So if you looking for an excuse to come down and you’ve got a toothache . . .

by Eric, Dec 04, 2013
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“I did not expect all that I received…”

What can I say about the Language Immersion School in Veracruz... AWESOME

The staff was great, they are native speakers, very kind, you felt like each one was your best friend.. They were there always ready to help you with your Spanish either speaking or if you had a problem they would be willing to help you through it.. I can’t say enough about them..

The food was great, authentic Mexican food.. made fresh at the school.. The school was very comfortable.. it has all the accommodations you need.

I learned I think just about all I could about the Spanish language.. now it is up to me.

Once a week they took us on a field trip to different places.. amazing.. I did not expect all that I received.. all included..

My trip there was more than learning Spanish, I learned my way around, hopped on buses and got to meet some of the locals..

I never encountered anything bad, I always felt safe.

People were there in Veracruz on vacation, very busy and happy place.

I highly recommended Language Immersion School.. I hope to one day return..

Oh, and let me not forget Eric and Linda, they are the two most giving people. They will help you with anything.. and if you get stuck they are fluent in English.. smile.
by Kim, Dec 02, 2013
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Tasty Extravagances

Veracruz has a spectacular new mall. It’s upscale all the way. It comes with its own marina. You can toss your maid the keys to your yacht and send her to pick up some cavier.

Even though it’s an orgy of excess, it has some real benefit.

In Veracruz, Mexico, home to The Langauge Immersion School, a long-missing American delicacy can now be found.I doubt the owners pay any taxes. Workers surely are paid as poorly as in other retail centers around town. The dichotomy between the haves and the have nots (the vast majority) is exacerbated. It is an affront to my sense of social justice.

Even so, it has it’s place.

You see, the grocery store, and an elegant grocery store it is, has a wide selection of delicacies imported from the US, our delicacies.

It has American things we’ve hungered for, we’ve dreamed of, we’ve missed terribly—things that have left paradise ever so slightly unfulfilled.

The biggest of the big, the most missed of all things missed, the delight of delights, we had for dinner last night along with hot dogs and, to celebrate, champagne. To you pork and beans might be outright déclassé or at least not haut cuisine. But try, suffer, for ten years, eating your hot dogs without them.
by Eric, Nov 26, 2013
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There’ll always be changeovers, always a need for replacements. Every military has fully trained, fully organized replacements ready to cycle in as the leaders cycle out the loyal, the true-blue, the tried and tested.

Every business should do the same—have a ready reserve of replacements— because the time always comes. It’s like the sun rising; it absolutely unavoidable.

It’s sad though, losing old, dependable friends. When things are really good just the way they are, we want them to stay that way. It’s comfortable.

We finally had to replace our comfortable old sofas.But sofas do wear out. The replacements, we could call them the “Scotch Guarded,” have been sprayed and are ready for action.

Today is the big day.

by Eric, Sept 16, 2013
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“Last month was one of the most happy times in my life”

I want to thank you both for creating such an amazing program for Spanish immersion. I can say now without a doubt that the program paid off big time for me. Last month {the month Brian was here with us at school} was one of the most happy times in my life and this continues now in Mexico City.

I got to Mexico City Saturday afternoon and have spoken non-stop Spanish with my friends, colleagues, and even strangers. Yes, I have made some funny mistakes here and there and sometimes I don't quite understand fully what is going on.

But, let me tell you this. Normally when I visit my friend and colleague Angelica, our conversations turn quickly from Spanish to English. My first night in her house with her boyfriend was all in Spanish. Then next morning she said,” OK I will speak to you in English and you can speak to me in Spanish.” I thought "Oh no, here we go again". Well, her English lasted only a portion of the morning and she turned to Spanish and we spent the rest of the morning and the day touring around museums in Mexico City speaking only in Spanish.

I am off to Colima early tomorrow morning. I am headed there to meet with another colleague to plan a new project. I do not doubt that he'll be impressed with my ability to speak and comprehend Spanish.

Also, I will note that a colleague of mine here said something like "Oh you speak Spanish now" (well in Spanish that is). Others have complimented me too on my abilities.

OK, last note. Tonight Angelica and I watched a French movie dubbed in Spanish. I was able to get the gist of the film. How about that?

I want to especially commend your staff. They are all incredible teachers, each in their own special way.

I love Angelica because she was so easy to talk to and brought out the most conversation in me. Rafa is the cool guy that I loved to joke around with. Ana is beyond patient and really good at mixing it up during the lessons. Danny is so friendly and I know he cares deeply about the success of his students. Paula is super funny and too really cared to make sure I was improving over my time in Veracruz, plus she taught me to make tortillas by hand.

Jorge is the serious intellectual…I think I learned equally as much from him about the properties concrete and that of bridge construction (all in Spanish of course) as I did about the subjunctive. Denise is also very caring and I will never forget my first morning with her wandering around the city. Margo, while very timid, also helped me...I wanted so much to talk with her that I went out of my way to really try hard. Lastly, Jacky is one of the sweetest kids I have meet...with time I think she will grow into a super teacher, her heart is absolutely in the right place.

Pues, necessito dormir. Vamos a Colima muy temprano (a las cinco de la manana). ¡Muchas gracias por todo!

Nos vemos
by Brian, July 18, 2013
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Feeding Google

Anyone with a website is concerned about feeding Google. It requires a very delicately balanced diet and would test the talents of even the best of nannies. Google is a very difficult child.

So, with Google in mind, I designed our website’s navigation bar. Over the past year (or two) it’s been pointed out to me (by you) (a number of times) that I should have designed it with you in mind.

Slow, maybe, on the uptake, but slow or not, always with my heart in the right place, I have redesigned the navigation bar with both you and Google in mind. I have alpha tested it on fake pages, and it seems to function well.

Now comes the beta testing, the reason behind all of it. The beta test is seeing if you like it. I’ll have it mounted over the next couple of days.

The old navbar was Google great, but, I admit, a bit cumbersome or maybe even a tad difficult to use. The new bar should work okay for Google. I hope it works very smoothly for you.

I’m worried about the color; is the font size right; it’s a tiny bit idiosyncratic on my iPad, and, and … (this is the stuff that causes grown men ulcers).
by Eric, July 16, 2013
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“Top-flight teachers, a quality program, and…”

Here’s what I got. Best part is, it's all true:

The low-down: Top-flight teachers, a quality program, and a no-hassle environment one block from the beach.

The Spanish Immersion program worked for me for two reasons: the quality of the teachers and the simple, straightforward program for getting the student to talk and experience the language all the time.

The teachers seem to be university students or recent graduates who are the cream of the regional university system. They are very knowledgeable about how the language works and how students learn. There is something magic about the way they are able to mix language learning with good conversation. As I said, they seem to be the cream of the regional universities.

This school has found the right balance of more traditional classroom exercises (which for me were always one-on-one at Spanish Immersion) and activities that get you out and about (and speaking more) in the hidden gem that is Veracruz city.

The evening talks were some of the most productive times for me. You have three hours (6-9pm) to speak with a "charlante" – someone who is trained to help you with your conversational Spanish and is good at keeping the conversation moving. It was a great way to revisit and practice the lessons learned earlier, and it’s just great to have the full attention of a good conversationalist in the language you want to speak, even if everything isn't "quite there yet" in your knowledge of Spanish.

Thursdays: your choice of trips to regional sites, museums, and beaches are strictly no-hassle and included in the price (including transport and visit with a teacher who is happy to keep you talking while she/he navigates the transport and the visit).

There are other extras: a real kitchen, with a big fridge if you feel like buying and cooking. I did the second week I was there and it worked great. Did I mention Veracruz food? The beach? The tropics?
by Rex, July 13, 2013
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“Hello, Hello. Is Anyone There?”

That’s how it felt. I picked up the phone, and there was no sound. It was like someone had their hand over the mouthpiece—total silence.

It happened around 4 PM yesterday. I sat, fingers crossed, for an hour. It was Sunday afternoon; I thought they might be making some equipment changes in the phone building. At the end of the hour I called it in—just like back home, a ten minute call “talking” only to a machine.

This morning a real person called to see if we were still without phone. “Yes,” I said. And please be fast, I didn’t say.

About 12:30 today I was in the corner store buying a big, delicious torta, and I asked if anyone else was having phone trouble. With a big, glowing, knowing, pick-your-own-adjective smile, Fidel, Veracruz’s finest torta maker, pointed to the street.

At The Language Immersion School, we lost phones for a day.  The reason for it we found lying on the ground. I hadn’t heard the semi hit the phone pole. I hadn’t heard the pole snap like a match stick and slam to the pavement. I hadn’t heard the lines rip apart.

by Eric, July 1, 2013
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Not only do they teach Spanish, they share a part of themselves…

Dearest Linda and Eric,

I’m sorry we missed each other before I left early Saturday. I had the most wonderful time in your school and will always remember my experience there with fondness.

Your teachers, each and every one of them, are exceptional. Not only do they teach Spanish, they share a part of themselves in the process allowing for a much more personal experience. The daily outings and weekly field trips allow a more intimate relationship between learning a new language and using it with native speakers. The history of Veracruz is fascinating and seeing the museums and other sites brought the whole experience together for me.

Both of you bring an excitement to the learning process and I felt I had cheerleaders in my corner with each class. Your spirit of goodness and kindness was freely shared with all of us. I also felt fortunate to have had a cohesive group of classmates. We laughed a little about our first week of dependency and the second week of unsupervised trips to town. We all grew in ways not expected I think.

Thank you for everything. I would love to come back for another two weeks and will let you know as soon as I’m able.
by Lori, June 6, 2013
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Grassroots Activism

Veracruz, Mexico is on its way to becoming one of the cleanest cities in the worldChange, awareness, civic-mindedness, it all must start somewhere. Someone or some-few must get it going.

Even with the internet, it still takes lots of pounding the pavement to get a movement started.

And it takes a person of strong and true conviction—a larger than life member of us just plain folk.

Veracruz is on its way to being a spic and span city. We were at a music festival at the zocalo, and we saw it. We applauded; others did to.

The performer on stage thought the applause was for him. But no; we were cheering our newfound leader; showing our support; thinking about a better future.

(Translation of the Sign
Don’t Throw Trash in the Street.
That Will Be Sufficient in Order to Keep Our City Clean
To the Child, Teach Him To Be Clean.)
by Eric, May 22, 2013
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Changing Tires

A tiresome fact of life is that tires wear out and need to be replaced.

It’s a hassle, and it’s not cheap. Here I’m thinking of only four tires.

For trucks it’s worse.

But for headaches this is hard to beat.

A tugboat is about to get a new set of tires at the malecon in Veracruz, Mexico.Notice the truck loaded down with replacements just to the left of the tug. I’m guessing it must take ten or fifteen truckloads for just one change of tires.

by Eric, May 04, 2013

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Entrega a Casa

Home delivery is becoming a big deal.

Construction materials were always delivered, of course. Five gallon bottles of water have been delivered for a long time. For many large purchases—refrigerators, sofas, mattresses, and etc.—you had to, and often still have to, arrange delivery with a mudanza truck. (Mudanzas have sites where they hang out as do many taxis.)

Music comes to the front door of The Language Immersion School in Veracruz, MexicoNowadays even pharmacies deliver. Pizza delivery has brought many other kinds of restaurants into the home delivery craze. Our laundry service has pick-up and delivery although very few laundries do.

More and more the convenience of entrega a casa is catching on.

For a modest tip, these guys bring music to your house.
by Eric, May 02, 2013

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“…I felt perfectly safe.”

Last week I returned from my annual trip to Veracruz to visit my friends Eric and Linda at The Spanish Immersion School.

When I'm there I take daily walks along the malecon from the school to the downtown area.

But this year, I decided to get to know the neighborhoods a little better so I used the residential streets for my daily walks. I walked from the school to the main bus station and back, I walked from the school to downtown and back. Every day I took a different route.

Many days when I arrived downtown I walked around the area, marching with all the other business people, students, and vendors.

Every day, everywhere I walked, I felt perfectly safe.

I didn't walk {the neighborhood streets} at night, however, but the only reason was because there are too many bumps and dips in the sidewalks to negotiate them without good light. by Ted, Mar 27, 2013
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Chicken Little Was Right!

You’ve got to give the fluffy fellow credit. He knows his stuff.

Because of gravity, of course, he has a skinny leg up on the competition.

And luck is usually with him.

Also, we’re all on his side—it’s the American way to side with the under chicken.

It was windy last Monday, and so we didn’t go to the grocery store. We missed the action.

Pemex lost it's singly-supported canopy close to The 
    Language Immersion School in VeracruzTuesday morning, headed to the store, we stood looking at the aftermath. We held our breath hoping that Chicken Little had been there to do his so-important, so life-saving duty.

(If You Don’t Remember Chicken Little Read On—
He’s the kid’s story bird who ran around yelling “The sky is falling; the sky is falling.”)

by Eric, Mar 25, 2013
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Beautiful Hot Air Balloons

Bus Art parks all around the Language Immersion School.We’re from New Mexico, and we’re used to having the sky filled with beautiful hot air balloons.

The mass ascensions at the Balloon Fiesta were as beautiful as beautiful gets—incredible colors, incredibly graceful motion.

In Mexico we might see a balloon once every ten years. There just aren’t many down this way.

But don’t feel bad for us.

We have the same beauty—the same colors, treats for one’s eyes, and the motion. Ours, I do admit, is a tad bit less lofty.

I was surrounded by it yesterday. I was caught up in it all as I strolled to the bank. Right there, with the blue-green ocean and bright sky as a background, I marveled at how gorgeous it all is.

Ah, beauty bringing joy to my eyes as I walked past the buses.

by Eric, Mar 11, 2013
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“But Now I Know Firsthand That There Is No Need To Be Worried About Safety.”

My husband, daughter and I just returned from 3 wonderful weeks at the Spanish Immersion School in Veracruz.

Before booking the trip we had been concerned about safety so we had been hesitant about going.

But now I know firsthand that there is no need to be worried about safety.

We never once felt unsafe while we were there and we travelled by bus, taxi and also did lots of walking.

We walked to the small markets close by. All we encountered were friendly people.

Of course, we had to also use common sense as we always do when we travel but we never felt unsafe.

I am so glad that we had gone and we will certainly return to the Immersion School.
by Ruthie, Mar 7, 2013
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E.R. Medicine in Veracruz

Linda has an allergy that developed about 15 years ago. Some foods give her trouble breathing, and, since she’s my world, as you can imagine, the allergy is terribly scary.

Allergic events happen rarely—years apart, but one happened the other day. Everything’s fine. We stayed calm and did everything right—including going speedily to the E.R. The medical term is anaphylactic shock, and it’s bad.

It’s because of the E.R. that I’m writing about this.

The doctor was fully competent. I questioned and quizzed him, skeptical I am about anyone caring for Linda, and he advanced my knowledge greatly. The R.N.s and the R.T. were super. The attitude was serious but comforting and friendly. They did more things than I thought were necessary—I mentioned that I thought so, and the E.R. doc once again contributed, with excellent and non-condescending bedside manner, to my knowledge base.

Well, yes, I was right in the middle of things the whole time. My excuse was that I had to translate; my reason was that I would not leave Linda’s side. They tolerated my being there with all the gentle kindness of Mexico (but I did stay out of the way—I was a positive, I’m sure, presence).

We get excellent medical care here in Veracruz. It’s every bit as good as we get back home, and maybe better.

Anyhow, then came the happiest thing that happens in an E.R. It was time to pay the bill. Time to pay means the patient is fine and is going home.

But it’s not even the excellent care Linda received that has me writing this. We have come to expect excellent care, and we always get it.

It’s the bill itself; that’s why I’m writing this. It came to four thousand four hundred and some. I guess we were there three hours. And as described above, lots happened.

Four thousand four hundred and change at a 12.5 rate of exchange is around three hundred and fifty dollars.
by Eric, Feb 28, 2013
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Things I loved about the Spanish Immersion School in Veracruz

Linda & Eric run a very good school. It is so well organized. They have thought of everything:
  • 1) You are picked up at the airport when you arrive so there are no worries about coming to a strange airport and not knowing where to go and how to get there.

  • 2) We appreciated being able to live right at the school. Each room has a private bathroom. This was such a good feature as we could go to our room whenever we needed to.

  • 3) Tuition covers most things. They have thought of everything. Tuition includes breakfast, a good substantial lunch, taxi fare and/or bus fare for all fieldtrips, and weekly laundry service. It also includes weekly housekeeping and sheet changes.

  • 4) Small class size. Usually 1-2 persons per teacher.

  • 5) Fieldtrips: Daily “out and about” trips with a charlante to practice your Spanish in a practical situation away from just classroom learning. And a full day fieldtrip to an interesting location each Thursday.

  • 6) The staff is exceptional. Each one is so kind, caring and helpful. We got to know them so well while we were there and felt sad when we had to leave at the end of our 3 weeks.

  • 7) We had access to bottled water at all times.

  • 8) We appreciated having a teacher “on sofa duty“ until 9 pm Monday-Friday. We would often get the extra help we needed at that time.

  • 9) Small local markets were close by so we could pick up fresh fruits and vegetables for a light snack in the evenings. There is a student kitchen complete with a fridge, stove (if needed) and dishes.
We would most certainly recommend this school if you’ve been wanting to learn Spanish. We are already planning to return. by Ruthie, Feb 24, 2013
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Veracruz--sitting right on the ocean's sandy beaches and just 80 miles, as the crow flies, from North America's third highest mountain peak..

Veracruz is one of the world's safest cities.

Contact us:
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Our U.S. number is  (415) 939-4388.  This is a San Francisco number that rings right through to us in Veracruz.

The School's Mexico Address
The Language Immersion School
Calle Alacio Pérez #61
Col. R. Flores Magón
Veracruz, Ver. Mexico
Within Mexico C.P. 91900
(229) 931-4716,
Within Mexico Cellular (229) 207-1929

Spam guard is a problem. If our reply isn't in your inbox promptly, please look in your spam or email us again.

Our U.S. number is  (415) 939-4388.  This is a San Francisco number that rings right through to us in Veracruz.


The Spanish Language Immersion School in Veracruz, Mexico

Spanish Language Schools, Veracruz Mexico Spanish Language School

Spanish Immersion, on the ocean in Veracruz, Mexico

Juan Carlos playing Jingle Bells on the Mexican Marimba