Why Discovering Español?
Sometimes you just don’t feel like settling. There’s no better way to learn Spanish than by immersing yourself! Our program in Ecuador is unique, it’s in a beautiful place where foreigners & nationals clamor to visit, we have personal experience learning & teaching languages from scratch, we’re a nurse and hospital Spanish/English interpreters, and we currently live in Ecuador where we speak English & Spanish every day. We’ve been in your shoes & know how to make learning a language fun, worthwhile and effective. Needless to say, we’re also provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Continuing Education Provider #CEP16913, for 30 contact hours–thus making your time in Ecuador tax deductible!
The Discovering Español Story
In the beginning, we all started learning another language either in elementary or middle school. Text books and rote memorization were the norm, and although we could maybe read and write the basics, every time we were spoken to, our minds raced to remember & translate what was said, while our tongues simultaneously struggled to find the right vocabulary to respond back. Most of us didn’t graduate past Spanish II, and dare we say, forgot everything once we entered the workforce?
It’s a Small World
Gone are the days when you can get by with just knowing English. Spanish is fast becoming one of the most widely spoken languages worldwide, and that doesn’t mean just in Spanish-speaking countries. Depending on what area you live in, it’s nearly impossible to venture out without hearing a language besides English being spoken. Proponents of foreign language education have long recognized this, but it doesn’t really hit home until you find yourself in your own backyard, not being able to communicate…Be it at the grocery store, when you’re out shopping for clothes, or at the park with your kids, exposure to foreign languages is becoming a daily occurrence. Have you ever felt frustrated at work, not able to understand what your patient is saying, or maybe you did understand (it’s always easier to listen than it is to speak), but you couldn’t convey what she or he needed to know?
With roots in both North and South America, we at Discovering Español are a bilingual, tri-cultural duo who have experienced second language learning during our adult lives. We’ve learned both English and Spanish as foreign languages, and have a background in Nursing, Spanish Education and ESL learning and teaching, too. We’ve interpreted Spanish and English in hospital and day to day settings, and know from personal experience the necessary, no fluff skills needed to effectively communicate with Spanish-speaking patients.
Marjorie & Nano, Program Creators
Marjorie started out her career as an eternal student, graduating in Biology, Spanish Education, and a BSN in Nursing. She took Spanish I three separate times (no joke), twice in 2 different high schools, and the last time at the university level. She studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador, where she met her husband, and ended up living there for several more years. In Ecuador, she taught English at two different academies and with her husband, founded a cultural language immersion program for a California State University. By the end of her stint in Ecuador, she was fluent in Spanish, where her skills became handy as a float nurse and hospital interpreter in the US. The lack of understanding among hospital staff and Spanish-speaking patients was the spark that fueled the creation and founding of the immersion program in Ecuador, where we teach Nurses how to effectively communicate with their Spanish-speaking patients.
Nano is a Chilean expatriate who moved with his family to Ecuador as a teenager, during the regime of the then Chilean dictator, Pinochet. In Ecuador, he worked as a national distributor and sales rep for an Ecuadorian based company, and began first learning English when he met Marjorie. Together, they founded and administered a cultural language immersion program, through which he had continued experience speaking to Spanish language learners. When they moved to the US, Nano continued his adult studies of English language learning and as he became more proficient, he worked as a hospital interpreter, as well. Apart from interpreting, Nano worked in carpentry, studied the Culinary Arts, and together with Marjorie, created the immersion program in Ecuador, teaching Nurses how to communicate with the Spanish-speaking patient. In Ecuador, Nano works in international tourism.
Marjorie and Nano spend most of their time in Mindo, Ecuador, where they live with their family. They still visit the US, sometimes several times a year, and apart from speaking Spanish & working in tourism, they also enjoy time with their kids & friends, playing soccer, cooking, gardening, and just being outside. Together they are #bridgingbarriers through Spanish language & cultural awareness.