Meet Rebecca, a Spanish teacher from the The Evergreen State! She has traveled with ACIS three times and this year took her students to Ecuador.
What level of Spanish do you teach?
I teach Spanish (levels 1, 2 and 3) to 7th, 8th and 9th graders. I am now in my eighth year of teaching.
This is your third trip with ACIS. Where had you gone first?
I traveled to Costa Rica with ACIS two years ago on the Tico Trek itinerary and before that I went to Spain.
What classroom goals did you have for your trip to Ecuador?
My main goal for the trip was to give students as many opportunities as possible to speak Spanish with native Spanish speakers. Our tour guide and bus driver in Ecuador were both wonderfully helpful with this. They asked my students questions to get them talking and were very encouraging if students struggled with a word or phrase. Our tour guide Willy suggested we have a dinner where we only spoke Spanish, which was awesome! If I had suggested it, it would have been Señora harping about speaking more Spanish; but if Willy suggests it, it must be a good idea!
Were there any top priorities for planning – hotels, activities, etc.?
The quality and especially location of the lodging was most important when organizing my trip abroad. I wanted to be in a central location where we wouldn’t have to travel far to immerse ourselves in the host culture.
Which aspect of the trip do you think your students enjoyed the most?
My students really enjoyed the free time we had to roam around Cuenca at night, and I have to say that was probably my favorite part of the trip as well. We got to try a variety of different foods and step outside of our comfort zone. This was only possible because our hotel was so centrally located that we could easily explore without needing to hail a cab!
Any fun stories you would like to share from the trip?
We got into Quito very early on our arrival day, and our tour manager was able to book us an extra cooking class to start off the trip. It was wonderful! A local chef took us to the market to purchase ingredients and learn more about local fruits and vegetables, and within a few hours of arriving the students were able to experience an authentic local shopping experience. I could not sing higher praises of our tour guide – Willy was knowledgeable, caring, and had a great sense of humor. And he never wasted an opportunity! If we had an extra thirty minutes, we were off to see a cathedral! If we saw a vendor in route to our destination, we sampled a local sweet treat!
Where would you like to go next?
I can’t decide between the Dominican Republic and Peru for our next trip! Both look amazing, and students were no help – when I surveyed them they couldn’t choose either!
In 15 words or less, why would you recommend ACIS?
Quality – quality people, quality experiences, quality accommodations, quality food…it is the highest quality company.