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Need Help With Mexico Plans - Family Trip and Spanish Immersion Compatible Goals?

Need Help With Mexico Plans - Family Trip and Spanish Immersion Compatible Goals?

Nov 3rd, 2003, 09:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17
Need Help With Mexico Plans - Family Trip and Spanish Immersion Compatible Goals?

Please advise. My head is swimming.

My main motivation for going to Mexico is for me to attend a high quality Spanish language immersion program. I am at the advanced intermediate level and am looking to attend a week long course that will help propel me into fluency.

I have read many posts and checked out lots of websites. Oaxaca sounds very charming, and if it is just me and my husband, that is probably best - probably looking for something in January or February. In which case, can anyone give me their current view of the best schools for me (and for total beginners like my husband) and also hotels? We don't want to go the hostel route - too old for that - would consider moderate $$ but charming and friendly to upscale $$$$, as long as it is relaxed, not pretentious.

I'm probably trying to mix too many goals here, but I also have considered attending a school somewhere on the Mayan Riviera. That way, maybe I could take my husband and 12 year old son (and his friend) for early March spring break next year, attend school in the a.m. while they swim at the hotel pool, and then we could tour some the Mayan ruins. With preteens, I know it isn't possible to be totally cultural - have to have some familiar comforts and fun, but I definitely don't want for us to just lounge by a pool or beach.

I've read that the Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Isla Mujeres areas are pretty touristy now -I don't think we would want to stay in any huge AI resorts with a bunch of other Americans. If there are 4 of us, I would want to be more economical unless more $$$ gets you something special, but would like to be on or near the beach.

So, lots to consider - don't know if I can squear all these considerations - looking for help.
Desi is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2003, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 909
How about a home stay set up through a language school. I have done this with my family in Oaxaca and Saltillo. It will save money and it will help you with your Spanish skills. I have been to Becari many times in Oaxaca and have been quite happy with it. Sometimes my kids and spouse have taken classes, sometimes they haven't. My kids are 18 and 19. They have ben going to Oaxaca since 4 and 6 and have been enjoying it. I'm not so sure that Spanish immersion is incompatible with a family trip other than speaking some English with your family while you are there.
Dude is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2003, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,122
I have spent alot of time in the Riviera area as well as Mexico City and surrounding and prefer the "history" of the latter region...While the ruins in the Riviera are magnificent, the pyramids around the city are as well, and the area is much older. I felt I learned more about Mexico not in the Riviera as it is less Americanized and new. In the mainland I had more access to art, historical museums, sites, smaller towns, etc. I love the whole country, but this is just my opinion.
Wednesday is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2003, 07:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17
Dude, what do your kids like to do in Oaxaca?

My son is almost 12, likes the usual stuff kids his age like - cartoons, TV, video games, computers, music, junk food, Cokes, but also is very athletic and loves to do outdoor things - swim, basketball, riding bikes, trampolines. I think I could convince him and his pal that going on one or two of the craft sidetrips to surrounding towns was ok, but their threshold would be low for too much of that. And I would be extremely irritated if their boredom kept me from enjoying all there is to do and that we could do if it were just me and my husband.

So that is why I was wondering about the Yucutan peninsula. If there are any schools there that are highly recommended, that might suit better for the whole crowd.

But maybe you can help me out with some kid friendly suggestions for Oaxaca.

Since I am the only person in my family who speaks Spanish, I think my family would kill me if I plunked them down in someone's house where they couldn't communicate at all.

On the other hand, maybe I should quit trying to do everything at once and just focus on my Spanish (that is, leave the kids at home).

Any other thoughts, anyone?
Desi is offline  
Nov 4th, 2003, 05:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 909
Probably the biggest things are that they enjoyed the ruins at that age. They liked to go to Monte Alban, Mitla, and Yagul particularily. They are realy interested in culture so trips to various towns aroun the Oaxaca Valley have been a lot fo fun for them. One thing about langauge school, on the occasions they have gone it has given them the opportunity to meet people from all over the places, particularily when there have been people their age they have had a ready made group of people to hang out with. They also like hanging out around the Zocalo and, of course, eating and shopping. In my case I have two girls so it may be different with your son and a friend. A couple of years ago I took a group of 12 teenagers to Oaxaca. Seven of them had the time of their life. The others found the change in culture overwhelming. So, I guess it really depends on the kids.
Dude is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 19
Hi Dude - I've been enjoying all your posts! Can you tell me where you stay in Oaxaca - or suggest a B&B near the zocolo for a few nights before our school begins? We don't want to spend a whole lot but my husband wants something that will help him feel like he's in Mexico. Any suggestion for a home-stay family when we start school? We're going in February - and can't wait!!! Thanks
j is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 03:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 909
We either stay with friends or in a home stay as placed by a language school, so that doesn't help you much. I have had many people tell me how much they like Las Golondrinas. It is certainly is in a good location a few blocks from the Zocalo. I have heard a lot of positive feedback about Las Bugambilias too. I place I don't know about other than seeing itis Hotel Azucenas. Its just looks nice and is in a good location at the top of Matamoras near La Basilica de Soledad. I am envious of your trip, the last two years I have only been able to go in the summer and not in the winter too as in the past. I hope you have a really good time.
Dude is offline  

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