While not directly related to Figueroa (who is Argentinian), my experience in Colombia was absolutely fantastic.
One of my main objectives while I was there was to improve my Spanish. Since I’m a cinematography student with a focus on Latin American film, I’m actually kind of embarrassed about my very, very basic communication skills!
Arriving in Medellin
Never having been to Colombia before, i wasn’t quite sure what to expect. All of my American friends and family seemed to think of it as one of the most dangerous countries in the world.
You want to go where?
They would ask. And Medellin has to be the worst of all, what with images of drugs and Escobar, random street shootings in the middle of the day, and all of those other lovely stereotypes we have.
Needless to say, I was a little nervous, but when I arrived I realized that, while the country still has its troubles, it is spectacular, and a budding gem in Latin America. Medellin, in particular, has turned itself into the best educated region in the country, and has done wonders to improve the status of its citizens.
Immersion Spanish Classes
Paola, the owner, was absolutely fantastic. It was a month long intensive program, with several hours of study in the morning, and even an opportunity to learn permaculture in the process!
The “farm” isn’t what we’d think of as a farm, but rather a very large garden on her hectare (2.5 acres) of land.There’s a wonderful climate, spectacular mountain scenery, and not too many bugs!
Our Spanish classes were divided into two groups, for beginners and intermediates. I was surprised to find myself in the intermediate group! With 3-4 hours of class a day, plus study time and the encouragement to speak Spanish as much as possible with Paola and the other students, the full immersion experience was challenging, but rewarding!
My grammar and pronunciation improved tremendously, along with my vocabulary. I even learned some uniquely Colombia words, like “amañado” (to be content/happy) that are only used in that region!All in all it was a great experience, and I’m hoping it will help me with my film pursuits as well!