Volunteer…You will Change Spain AND Spain will Change You!

What is Pueblo Ingles?

Imagine going to a foreign country and only being allowed to speak in your native language of English. Sound intriguing? To me, it sounded like a dream come true, since I don’t speak Spanish, and my attempts at asking where the bathroom is located would surely never be understood.

I jumped at the chance to travel to Spain and take part in the Pueblo Ingles one-week program. Okay, Debbie and Candee were accepted to the program, I went along to keep them company, but as it turned out, I was able to fully participate too.

Pueblo Ingles runs a conversational English program that is designed to match up native English Speakers with Spaniards who are desiring to strengthen their English speaking skills. In fact, once the program begins, no Spanish is allowed. Research indicates that total immersion brings about the best results when learning a foreign language and I found out first hand how well it really works!

Hola Polly...I mean Hello Polly!





If you’re a native English speaker, outgoing, and desire a travel adventure off the beaten path…than this is the opportunity you’ve been seeking!

The streets and building of Valdelavilla

The streets and buildings of Valdelavilla










The program is offered in several locations throughout Spain, and there is even a program in Italy, from what I hear. We went to Valdelavilla, a small rustic village located in the highlands of Soria.

Enjoying the conversation










The food at Valdelavilla was fantastic, but even better were the friendships that developed during this casual part of the day. Meal times were a social time, but we were always asked to sit, “Anglo, Spaniard, Anglo, Spaniard”, to ensure that that English would only be spoken at every table. Smart, huh?

I would like you to meet a few of my new friends…sitting at table one are Patricia and Maria from Spain, Anne from the United States, and Patrice from Canada. Sitting at table two are Marisa and Sophia from Spain, Tom from the U.K., and Deb from the United States.



The P.I. Schedule:
The daily schedule is designed to get everyone involved
and it does exactly that!


This schedule was taken directly from the Pueblo Ingles website at http://www.morethanenglish.com Check them out for a unique travel experience in Spain!

This is Patricia from Spain and Noel from Canada. (Noel lives in Albacete, Spain full time now and teaches Conversational English.)




One to Ones: A Spaniard and an Anglo are matched up together for an hour of conversation. The schedule rotates, so each Spaniard will get a chance to talk to every Anglo by the end of the week at least once in this fashion.

Find a shady spot under a tree, take a walk, or sit and enjoy a cup of coffee together…what matters most is the conversation!





Of course you know Debbie and Candee...they are talking to Cesar and Marta from Spain.




Two to Twos (Say it really fast and it sounds even better!):
Two to Twos are a time during the day when two Anglos are matched up with two Spaniards. A list of in-depth topics is provided to spark conversation at a deeper thought-provoking level. This really helps the Spaniards learn new vocabulary and concepts while they are thinking and talking in English.

I wonder what they’re talking about?




Looks like fun!




Presentations/Group Time were my favorite part of the day! (Especially when they included me! Do you see me in the picture?)

There were songs (even opera), skits, game shows, chants, and games. You name it…we did it during group time!





Cesar, Polly, and Alfonso



An hour and a half of free time is built into the schedule every day. We could use this time to get ready for an upcoming presentation, grab a quick nap, do laundry, take a hike in the woods, relax in the shade with a good book, or chat with our new friends.

We decided to play “Where’s Polly?” instead of “Where’s Waldo?” Cesar and Alfonso were already dressed for action!

Marta, Patricia, and Sophia...and me!








I tried to get my new friends Marta, Patricia, and Sophia to teach me a little Spanish, but they wouldn’t budge! “Polly, English only!”






Thank you! We all had a great time!






Our fearless leaders…Pablo from Spain and Davy from Ireland. They did a fantastic job!





From left to right: Estefania, Renee, Antonio, Anne and Paloma






Saying goodbye…the last day of our session. Look how well we were trained…we even lined up for pictures in the right order, “Spaniard, Anglo, Spaniard, Anglo, Spaniard”!

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