Spanish Language and Cultural Instruction: Una Vaina Bien Spanish

Una Vaina Bien Spanish is a locally-owned Spanish school that offers visitors a unique take on the traditional language learning experience. Students learn about Dominican history, culture, indigenous customs, food and language in a hands-on immersive way that truly focuses on a deep respect for the local community. Mechi, the owner and teacher, is very studied on her own history and culture, social justice, and is committed to helping make Cabarete the best it can be, first and foremost for locals and then for those who wish to learn about our country and enjoy our community!

We are able to offer a 10% discount to Tourism Concern Members

My classes subsidize classes for local folks. By asking the community how they wish tourism best benefited them it allows me to steer visitors towards options that best serve us. When I take visitors on walking tours through our neighbourhood, I teach them about how to best do this ethically. I teach them about how to respect our local spaces (so few are truly made and kept for just the Cabarete people). I am of this community and do most of what I do free of charge. I try to steer folks away from places that bar locals access and towards businesses with real local families that need that economic support.

All of the money that I make stays within the community. I print and laminate all of my classroom materials at local print shops. I take all students that choose to do so on cultural excursions to locally-owned businesses; and I recently launched a local spotlight to use my platform to draw folks towards the few locally-owned businesses in the area.

I digitalise class materials to cut down on paper waste and promote businesses that are taking steps towards becoming more eco-friendly. I talk about waste reduction with my students and about the negative environmental impacts tourism can have on our communities and in this way I try to raise awareness.



About the author

Peter Bishop

Peter Bishop – Programme Manager Tourism Concern. Peter became a trustee of Tourism Concern in 2006, stepping down in 2009 in order to work on projects including our DFID-funded ‘Empowering Coastal Communities’ project, the Gap Year and International Volunteering Standard, and research into employment conditions in all-inclusive hotels.

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