I first met Jean or Juanita as she is known locally, about 8 years ago on our first trip to Yelapa! We had a connection as not only were we staying in the same ‘neighborhood/hillside’ in Yelapa, but Jean spends her summers in BC and is Canadian. We have travelled to Yelapa as a family and I have hosted ‘women’s retreats’ in the village with wonderfully positive feedback about the friendly locals, the amazing physical beauty and the broad range of activities.
Intrigued with her business and life choices, I’ve gotten to know Jean better over the years and I absolutely love her approach to teaching Spanish!
Here is what she says about YESI or the “Yelapa English Spanish Institute”:
‘The YESI school was destined, it was never a plan, I hadn’t planned to teach, although I did want to be a Russian / French/ English translator.’
Yelapa is a novel gem, it is like ‘stepping back in time’ into an authentic Mexican beach paradise.
Jean serves her students very well, giving personal attention both in training/coaching, house/home stay arrangements, tours and activities.There are classes for everyone; children, adults, teachers, medical people, families, bird watchers. All classes are largely oral using a book of collected materials.
Jean says “We’re trained to be visual, I try to reinforce the oral approach, as it “fixes” the language quicker and better. Classes are very interactive, lots of pictures, games, songs, role playing. I strive to make each experience of Yelapa and Spanish studies memorable. I try to tailor to the needs of the class, giving the short cuts to the structure of the language, but add variety and novelty to keep the students and myself inspired! I’ve set the location in a peaceful mountainside setting under bird-filled trees with an ocean view and breezes, close to the village and beaches. Summer classes really see a side of Yelapa seldom seen – verdant green, crystal warm ocean water, a Mexican community at play in their normal non-tourist lives. I have time to assist family groups in learning together and experiencing Yelapa at its best with activities daily. I serve many adults who want special attention for specific work interests.”
While staying in Yelapa and learning Spanish at YESI with Jean, you can also attend yoga classes with Judith at the Sky Temple, soak up the sun on the beach, swim, snorkel, travel up river to the waterfall, eat luscious food at the amazing restaurants and dance at the local disco!
Situated on the ocean, south of Puerto Vallarta and only accessible by water taxi, Yelapa is a safe, quaint Mexican village untainted by big development or obnoxious tourists. Yelapa attracts a very laid back visitor who enjoys an authentic experience. There are many choices for accommodations and in my opinion, some of the best food anywhere in the world. Describing the food and restaurants would require another entire blog posting, however, I will highlight our favs: Cafe Bahia for brunch or lunch, El Manguito, El Cerrito, the Yacht Club and Angelina’s Garden Restaurant! The ceviche at Hotel Lagunita is excellent too!
Having lived in Yelapa for many years, Jean is a wonderful resource for planning your trip as well as providing you with an exceptional opportunity to learn Spanish.
Consider planning a special retreat to Yelapa and enjoy an adventure in learning Spanish with Juanita!
In peace & mindfulness,