https://www.duolingo.com/Ghodeous

Travelling Central America and South America.

Last year and the better half of the first 3 months of the year I travelled to Central America and ultimately decided to spend 5 weeks in Antigua Guatemala learning some spanish.

I learned the hard way how difficult it is to be in CA without speaking spanish. You can do the touristy thing and careless for spanish but if you want to do better than that, you need a little spanish and hell yeah a lot.

I find that by having an introduction in a class setting with a 1-1 spanish native speaker, i am putting everything i am learning in perspective and is a little less frustrating than classroom was.

I am planning on traveling back to Antigua and perhaps venture into South America....Colombia...Cartagena, Cali and Medellin. If you plan on travelling end of year or new year to CA or SA let me know..perhaps we can practice???

4 years ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SamuBG13
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Cartagena is absolutely wonderful. It's one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been to! If you're there, don't forget to visit Barú.

Medellín is nice as well, they really have done a lot of things to improve the city, and I can assure you it's a different place from what it was in the 1980's. There's nothing to worry about, just be careful and don't go to unsafe places! I think I read somewhere that there are free spanish conversation clubs for foreigners in Medellín, check it out if you ever visit the city.

I don't really know a lot about Cali, but I've a couple of friends from there and they always tell me that the city is also nice.

Remember, in Colombia the only risk is wanting to stay :D!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ghodeous

thanks for the pointers Samu

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PopTartTastic

I haven't been to Colombia, but I've heard that Cartagena is nice. Medellín is also supposed to be rather nice. Medellín was known for having a lot of drug activity, so the city is trying to clean it up, and they've built a lot. I don't know a lot about Cali though. If you can, visit Peru and Ecuador too. My neighbors visited Lima, and from what I heard, they had a great time. Quito and Guayaquil are supposed to be great places to visit too. I hope you enjoy your trip!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Don_Cristian
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Nice I was also in Antigua but didn't need any language school, Granada in Nicaragua is another good place I heard. I was in the same trip in Cartagena, Cali and Medellin. I would definitely want to go back there but I won't have money this year. If I win in a lottery I will come with my wedding sack and get many wives in Medellin.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ghodeous

Oh wow when where you in Antigua and did you like it? Share some experiences on Colombia. Did you you stay long and if so, how did you go about accommodation?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Don_Cristian
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I was in Antigua in march, we visited one volcano and I liked the place because I had a great traveling group. I sailed to Cartagena from Panama City, it's a really pretty place but didn't stay that long. Cali is the salsa capital of the world so I had some free salsa classes in my hostels and we tried dancing salsa in salsotecas, but it was really hard. I spent only 2 weeks in colombia, I was on my way to ecuador, peru and bolivia. I tried using couch surfing but didn't get any couch, it's so much harder for guys than girls, so I just stayed at hostels where I met amazing people.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ghodeous

Yeah I was there too in March. I did Volcano Pacaya. I am planning to do Acatanango this year. But men i am going to do that 5 day sailing from Panama City to Cartagena. I have only done hostels once and it wasn't the greatest experience. I f I don't do home stays, I rent an apartment on long stay.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heqamaat
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I wouldn't be able to travel this year because I have one semester left in school but I really want to travel completely through Latin America at some point and hit all the countries. If my plans every overlapped with someone it'd be nice to have company for a while.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
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How was your Spanish school lessons? I plan on going next year. I would love to hear more.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ghodeous

My classes where great. I went to Don Pedro de Alvarado Spanish School just next to the La Merced Church church. I lived in the "home stay" program for a months and I loved the school environment and the opportunity to learn. The only thing I would caution is that one avoids taking way too many lesson hours as you learn less by studying more. Keep it to not more than 4 hours a day and you will do good. I am going back next year for a few weeks before my SA & CA trip. Let me know if you need additional info.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
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Thank you. You are kind. Your school is one that I have heard of and is rated high. I want to stay probably, two months (Oct and Nov 2015), and use the week ends to travel around. But question: why do you say that more than 4 hours of study is too much? I was going to do 6 hours .I probably have more questions and it nice that you offered. I have been reading lonely Planet and Tripadvisor reviews but most are old. Happy trails.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ghodeous

umm trip advisor and lonely planet are good resources but true they suffer from old news. I tried 6 hours of study. My friends tried it too. At the end of the day, we all came to realize that language study is a longterm goal.

You see, everybody wants to learn a language quickly and that is not a feasible thing. Every regions has its style and language evolves everyday. You'd be surprised to learn that a large percentage of language used in urban centres is slang and you can just pick that up. So we did morning classes only to forget everything once we where done with afternoon classes.

So we figured that we do 4 hours in the morning and then spend the rest of the day in the community where we get to hear spanish in its natural settings. And for me and most of my friends, that was the break through.

See language as learning physics or math. It gets tough but once you pick eem up, you're on. So consistency is the key not overstudy. At the end of the school period, I could definitely ask questions about conversations I hear in the streets and I can almost understand a fair amount of conversations around me. Trouble? Heavy tongue..let me know should you need a road map. All my classmates are in touch on Facebook and we are planning on more classes in the future.

4 years ago
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