If you plan on living in Costa Rica, it’s best to learn Spanish to be able to converse with locals and enrich your experience. Learn Spanish in Atenas, Costa Rica at Su Espacio.
When you travel to other countries, being able to converse with the local population opens up worlds of opportunities and experiences you might not otherwise have had. In my travels around the world, I’ve found that I am much more warmly received as a tourist if I learn basic phrases in the local language either before traveling or immediately upon arrival.
Choosing an international life and moving to another country begets an even stronger need to learn essential language terms. How will you survive in your new adopted country if you can’t communicate with local residents?
Besides, studies show that speaking more than one language diminishes the likelihood of developing dementia, enhances creativity, and improves tolerance.
While many people living in Costa Rica speak at least a little bit of English, or are completely bilingual (especially in the capital region and tourist hotspots), any efforts on the part of foreigners to speak Costa Rican Spanish are warmly welcomed.
In the popular retirement destination of Atenas, Costa Rica, you can learn Spanish and a few other languages at the Su Espacio Language and Cultural Center. Su Espacio means “Your Space” and the language and cultural center is a place where people come to connect.
Su Espacio is located in a friendly and inviting historic house in downtown Atenas with an open-air courtyard and garden, centrally-located right next to the Catholic Church and central park.
In addition to language lessons for adults in Spanish, Italian, and English, they provide after-school language and arts & crafts classes for children, special seminars such as craft brewing and jewelry making, coordinate volunteer opportunities within the community, and give out general tourist information to visitors.
Language lessons are available Monday to Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Learning is dynamic, fun, and non-traditional using games and activities, with the greatest emphasis placed on conversation. Students will learn the four basics of speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing.
There are four ways to learn Spanish at Su Espacio in Atenas:
- Group Spanish language classes: usually from four to six persons, open to anyone who wants to join. Classes are held twice a week for 90 minutes each.
- Private lessons: one-on-one with an instructor. Private lessons are usually one hour up to two hours long. Instructors will tailor the classes to what you want.
- Semi-private lessons: for two persons who know one another – husband and wife, family members or friends.
- Special interest groups: for friends or groups who want to learn a specific vocabulary in Spanish; for example to do dental or health care outreach in a rural area, work with children in rural communities, legal terminology, etc.
Most people who take Spanish language classes at Su Espacio are retired expats in Costa Rica who recently moved to Atenas or are visiting for a few months.
Costa Rica is one of the most popular destinations for international living in the world. And the small coffee-producing town of Atenas, on the western end of Costa Rica’s Central Valley, is known as one of the best places to retire.
Article by Shannon Farley