¿Habla Español? Parlez-vous français?
Just ask our references. When you share meals, dance and have karaoke nights, talk about culture, customs, and history with local friends, ride to work sites and recreation activities with local teens and our long-time drivers, spend time in the kitchen setting up or putting away meals with our local cooks, make sorbet or go net fishing with our friends—You can’t resist practicing your Spanish or French skills when the language is all around you and the people so genuinely eager to know you. The project sites are often where language is ambient and easily absorbed with our hosts working at your side.
Your Spanish will improve… it’s the truth!
In Nicaragua you can build compost toilets for the Tejeras village and potable water systems for Chauite Grande and Sigle II with as many as 40 or 50 people from the community; sip coffee with brothers Blandon and Vinicio at their farm during a weekend excursion. Participate in dinners and dances with our many friends and neighbors.
Ecuador combines living on the Galápagos, one of the world’s most fascinating ecosystems, and a mainland Andean village. Spend eight days in the Galápagos partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture and National Parks and three weeks in an intimate Andean village.
Projects range from coffee planting to building cisterns, greenhouses, playgrounds; harvesting crops, maintaining gardens and helping villagers with daily chores; teaching children basic English and enjoying exchanges with their parents. Exploration embraces every aspect of the Galápagos, Andean wonders, marketplaces, Quito, Otavallo and more!
In Costa Rica, on Roberto Salano’s turtle reserve, you can patrol the beach by moonlight, protecting nesting sea turtles and tortoises. Weigh and measure the tortoises and release them back onto the beach; build a new nursery, a biodigester, a dining room for Salon de Mujeres, windows and wooden shutters for a farmers cottage, or teach English games, songs, and sports to local children; enjoy daily exchanges with your hosts.
In Peru you can build an adobe perimeter wall with bathrooms for a school with local teachers, Hernan and Ismael; install floors for Centro Initial; dig and build canals that bring glacial run-off from the mountains to irrigate Sacred Valley fields; help install and improved kitchen for Lamy and Yucay; and choose from workshops with a beekeeper, weaver, carpenter or jewelry maker.
In Dominican Republic, construct a school classroom addition and a perimeter wall for the San Luis community. Create and paint a World Map mural. With San Luis teens, organize and supervise a youth camp for 100 children ages 4 to 13, including English instruction, sports, arts and crafts and games; walk to the shop for a soda after a good day’s work, then dance to the meringue later that night at the disco.
¿No Habla Español? Parlez-vous français?
Like our Spanish sites, VISIONS Guadeloupe immerses you in French language. We live in Petites Anses, an intimate fishing community on Terre-de-Bas, one of the islands of les Saintes—tiny archipelago islands off the southern coast of mainland Guadeloupe.
Our home base is a short walk from the sea and from the village center. We mingle daily with our friends, the Saintois. We learn how to make the salaku-a fisherman’s hat fashioned from indigenous reeds that is made only in Iles Des Saintes; we fish with Eric or Patrick Valvert, and from a local vendor we learn how to make coco sorbet.
On weekends our activities include trips to neighboring Terre-de-Haut to take in the many little boutiques and bakeries. We go to the mainland to hike the volcano, scuba dive, visit the Grand Marche, Fort Napoleon, beautiful beaches, etc. Of course, there are impromptu opportunities such as soccer games or just hanging out in the park or home base during free time to practice and improve our French skills.