Courses

Spanish language training

ILERI

Spanish course

ILERI was founded in 1994 in Panama City. The teachers are Panamanian, qualified with university degrees and experienced in teaching Spanish as a second language. You will be learning Spanish the same way you learned your native languages as child; by seeing, hearing and repeating. The goal is to enable you to think and express yourself in Spanish, and get more confidence and fluency with the language. The course material will be adapted to your level of proficiency, and you will be split up in groups of maximum four to one teacher for an effective learning experience.

Spanish By The Sea

At Spanish By The Sea, you will do a written and oral entry test to make sure you’re starting at the appropriate language level. Just like at ILERI, you will be split up in small groups (max. 4 students per group), ensuring dedicated attention to your needs in practicing the four key skills of language: reading, writing, comprehension and speech. Because the courses are intended to help you communicate in the outside world, your teacher will play you through real-life situations, bringing a partial activity-oriented approach to the class. At the end of the course you will receive a certificate verifying the hours attended.

The Spanish courses will build your foundation to interact with locals in Panama, as well as serve as a preparation for your final exam at the Oteima University.

Courses will be 4 hours per day (2 hours grammar/2 hours conversation), 60 hours in total.

  • Week 1: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
  • Week 2: Monday – Thursday
  • Week 3: Monday – Thursday
  • Week 4: Monday – Thursday

Workshops

Casco Viejo & the Spanish settlement

Casco Viejo

The Old City (Casco Viejo) is probably where the identity of Panama City and its people is best illustrated. It is next to the canal the largest tourist attraction of Panama. Designated a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, this city brings together an architectural mix of Caribbean, Republican, Art Deco, French and Colonial style buildings. During this workshop you will be going on a day-tour and be confronted with landmarks of Panamanian history and the gradual development to what Panama City is today. A local guide will also be joining you to answer and discuss any questions you might have.

The UNESCO seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.

Colonialism & the Spanish language

City-of-knowledge-2-300x184

This workshop will be held at the City of Knowledge. The City of Knowledge is an international complex for education, research, and innovation, and was developed to encourage and facilitate synergy between universities, scientific research centers, businesses, and international organizations. Centrally located on the banks of the Panama Canal, it provides the facilities for programs of excellence in education, research, technological development and innovation., promoting a high level of education in Panama. Read more here.

You will be studying Panama’s past as part of the Spanish empire, from its discovery by Rodrigo de Bastidas in 1501 to the beginnings of the independence movement in 1821. This material should solidify your knowledge from the Casco Viejo tour and also give you a deeper insight on the Spanish influence on Panama’s history.

The canal & its importance

Miraflores Locks

The Panama Canal was built in 1914 with a labor power of 56,000 people. It takes most ships 8 to 10 hours to do an entire transit, and with 13,000 ships passing through these waters every year, the canal represents a key passage for international maritime trade.

In this workshop you will be taking a guided tour to the Miraflores locks that allow transit between the canal and the Pacific Ocean. You will be able to study the gravity flow system used to release water into the locks as well as discuss the impacts of the canal on the physical, biological and socioeconomic environment .

Community outreach program & Smithsonian Institute

Poison dart frog

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution in Panama is dedicated to understanding biological diversity. Its facilities provide a unique opportunity for long-term ecological studies in the tropics, and are used extensively by some 900 visiting scientists from academic and research institutions in the United States and around the world every year. The continuity of their long-term programs enables in-depth investigations that attract an elite group of fellows and visitors.

The Bocas del Toro Research Station (BRS) local school outreach program began 4 years ago and currently works closely with 10 educational centers in the area. The program consists of activities tailored to the educational level and prior knowledge of each group. You will compare ecosystems, use laminated photo sheets and keys to identify organisms, test water quality and make connections between land use and coral reef health.

Tourism & its implications for Caribbean culture

Workshop Tourism

The Bocas del Toro Sustainable Tourism Alliance is a destination management organization composed of Bocas del Toro’s many tourism-based enterprises. It supports the local and global marketing efforts of all member companies and develops materials to promote Bocas del Toro as a destination for international tourism. Additionally, the Alliance undertakes conservation efforts to preserve the cultural and ecological landscape.

This workshop will deal with Sustainable Tourism and Geotourism as central topics. You will learn what they mean, and what you can do to contribute effectively to preserving a foreign country’s environment when you’re visiting. In Bocas del Toro, unplanned tourism development is placing tremendous pressure on the area’s natural resources. Without addressing the threats from unsustainable tourism development and creating a sustainable alternative, Bocas del Toro risks losing its pristine environment, which is the area’s main attraction and principle reason why tourists visit the archipelago.