Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Long Distance Spanish Teacher

The Municipality of El Carmen

If you would like to improve your Spanish at a very economical rate and in the comfort of your own home, please read my personal story.
In my work as an educational-vocational specialist with a social agency, I was in daily contact with people who speak Spanish only. During my vacations, which lasted 30 days, I would take trips to South America with Perú being my home base. On the way down and on the way back, I would arrange convenient stops in nearby countries, and take advantage of long layover stops in other countries. Thus, I got comfortable mixing with monolingual Spanish-speakers.

The Main Plaza of El Carmen, Perú
Today, through lack of funding, that wonderful job is now history. Since that time, my opportunities to use my Spanish has been limited, and I try as often as I can to encounter and interact with monolingual Spanish speakers, but things are just not the same. I’m still planning more Latin American trips, and I feel my Spanish-speaking ability dwindling and a need to do something about it. 

Guyabo, a residential district in El Carmen
I then thought about my Afro-Peruvian friend Milton. He is a medical doctor who is having trouble finding a steady job. In Perú, blacks are generally restricted to certain types of jobs, and the medical profession is not one of them. Milton lives in the predominately black District of El Carmen in Chincha, Perú where the local medical facilities have no blacks on their staff, and those staff members come from outside the area. Thus, Milton tries to get work wherever he can on a temporary basis until he can build his curriculum vitae (CV) to a level that will finally lead to breaking stubborn racial barriers and obtaining a full time job of which he has been educated and trained. 

Hanging out in El Carmen
Recently I contacted Dr. Milton, and arranged for private Spanish lessons for 75% than what it would cost in the US to get the kind of help I need to improve my Spanish. He is not only happy to do it for me, but is willing to take on more customers. The way it works is that I use my Latin American phone card to call his home once-a-week. We chat about any topic I choose. While we are chatting, he to corrects my grammar, increases my vocabulary, and teaches me Latin-American etiquette as I am  learning more about his community. I have already had my third phone session with Milton and am absolutely love the experience.

 An Afro-Peruvian dance performance in an El Carmen home

 If you are reading this blog post and would like to improve your Spanish with a native speaker, I can connect you. However, there is a “catch,” of course! The catch is you must have an intermediate command of the Spanish language. Dr. Milton speaks only a few words of English. If these types of arrangement interest you, send me an e-mail at

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