WELCOME TO THE FIRST COOPERATIVELY-RUN SPANISH
LANGUAGE PROGRAM IN OAXACA, MEXICO
¡Bienvenidxs a la Guarida!
After working for years in Spanish language schools in the city, we decided to band together to form our own language program in order to use our collective expertise to offer all interested students an engaging, effective Spanish curriculum in a community-oriented learning environment!
Spanish classes are our pathway to providing students with a deep and immersive experience, one that takes advantage of Oaxaca’s cultural, social and political richness to build language skills and create a richer exchange of ideas, experiences and opportunities between our city and the world.
This is why we are also the first language school in the city to be dedicated to being a cultural space as well. We want our space to be as non-commercial as possible, and we seek to hold events here for our students and Oaxacans to attend together.
Additionally, with our cooperative organizational structure, we value everyone’s contribution, are dedicated to the idea of mutual respect, and share all of our earnings fairly among our teachers and staff. While we committed to providing a fair living wage to everyone who works with us, we also strive to make our classes affordable to all students who want to learn.
We are located right in the heart of the city—in the historic downtown—just a half block from the Zócalo, which is the city's main square. We eagerly welcome you to our space and to our classes!
WHY WE’RE DIFFERENT
While it’s not common for businesses to talk about their business plan with their customers, we are dedicated to being up front with ours because we see our students as equal partners in this venture.
As we explored options for starting this cooperative, we were drawn to business models based in the idea of shared space and convivencia (there’s no perfect translation, but it’s something like intimate or harmonious coexistence). As such, our main focus is offering small group classes at all levels of Spanish—usually between 2-4 students—supplemented with other activities and tours throughout the week that show our students various sides of Oaxaca while offering new contexts and spaces for practicing Spanish outside of the classroom.
Our prices are set so that we can pay all of our teachers a fair living wage. At the same time, we also proudly offer Travelers & Cultural Exchange Scholarships to as many students as we can who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend. We hope this allows more students to engage in Spanish learning so that they can interact more closely with our culture and traditions here in Oaxaca, in Mexico, around Latin-America in general, and when they go home, with those who are part of the Latino diaspora.
Besides being a learning space for foreigners, we want to serve as a connection node between our students and cultural institutions, artists, and regular Oaxacans so that students get a real feel for Oaxaca and its traditions in order to forge real, mutually respectful connections between our city and the rest of the world.
LEARN SPANISH WITH US!
As a cooperative led by teachers, we are first and foremost dedicated to providing top-quality Spanish classes. Our philosophy is that learning a language requires a communicative approach to instruction and that it has to happen in the language that is being learned—making our classes immersive by nature. It also means we welcome students who speak any language into our classes. While it might sound a little intimidating for beginners, we believe this is the only real way to learn a language, and after a day or two, our students say that they’ve made much more progress than when they’ve tried to learn solely by translating between languages. Additionally, we offer all of our in-person classes in our own space in the heart of the city, with whiteboards and classrooms so that our students can focus their whole class period on the material being learned.
We know that students learn Spanish through many channels, and while dedicated to teaching the language, we also work hard to provide excellent classes in the cultural arts—like literature, vernacular & idiomatic language, cinema, history, and art—to help the world better understand Oaxacan, Mexican and Latin-American culture, and offer a weekly standing workshop, called Playful Spanish, which ranges in daily themes, from Mexican Slang 101 to Inclusive & Queer Spanish. Similarly, for this reason, we also take students on unique city tours, hold events and workshops in our space, and direct our students to other art workshops, institutions, and events in the city so that they can get to know Oaxaca and get more incorporated into the cultural and social rhythms of the city. We also can connect student with homestay options, for those who want to get to know the city by living with Oaxacans themselves, and online class options for folks who want to continue learning from home.