Background on La Catalina School

La Catalina School started on a smaller scale, giving group and individual classes and has grown by popular demand into a full-immersion school. Our current Spanish immersion program offers daily intensive language classes with the following optional activities:

  • Homestays with Mexican families
  • Volunteer work experiences
  • Language exchange with Mexican students
  • Cultural events
  • Recreational outings and tours

What Makes Us Unique

There are a number of distinctive features that make La Catalina unique among all of the other Spanish language schools across the country:

  • Powerful, Innovative & natural approach
  • Unbeatable Location of La Manzanilla, Jalisco
  • Cultural Integration
  • Social Programs

Powerful, Innovative & Natural Approach

You can read in more detail about our innovative and natural approach to teaching in “Teaching Methodology,” but in a nutshell, we use a teaching/learning approach similar to the natural and effortless way you learned your first language. As adults, however, you have additional skills (such as the ability to read and write and knowledge of your native language) that help you greatly accelerate the learning process. Instead of the four years that it takes for a child to become fluent in his or her first language, an adult can achieve fluency in a second language much faster—in as little as six weeks to six months.

Unbeatable Location

Our unbeatable location in the town of La Manzanilla, on the beautiful coast of Jalisco, Mexico has been a well-kept secret for many years. The Mexican people live contentedly and foreigners trickle in during the winter months to enjoy the beaches while avoiding the large crowds found in Puerto Vallarta and other tourist areas. The town has managed to preserve its authentic appeal while also welcoming visitors from other countries.

Cultural Integration

At La Catalina School, we offer opportunities for our students to integrate into the local Mexican community by offering activities that are also of interest to the local Mexican people.  We can set up language exchanges, which gives students a chance to know the Mexican culture better and form friendships with the local people. We also integrate our students into the Mexican community by placing them in a volunteer position in a local business, organization or place of residence, upon request.

Social Programs

We strive to offer jobs, training and education to the Mexican people. This is part of an on-going effort to create additional opportunities for economic growth and cultural enrichment for the local people. This effort is primarily accomplished by our sister organization, La Catalina Educational Foundation, a non-profit foundation whose mission is to raise the overall education level of the Mexican people to help improve the quality of their lives. Below are some of the ways in which your tuition at La Catalina School goes back to the Mexican community to help in the pursuit of:

  • Education
  • Training
  • Work Opportunities

Universidad de Londres, a small private university in Mexico City, and La Catalina Natural Language School are both major contributors to La Catalina Educational Foundation. The foundation sponsors free English classes, gives scholarships to local youth and offers an array of other classes and opportunities for the local Mexican residents to improve their educational level.


We give selected individuals, who we feel have a lot of potential, the opportunity to work as an assistant in the classroom along side a well-trained, qualified teacher and receive mentoring and training.

Work Opportunities for Local Mexicans

We make every effort to not only give the well educated a chance to participate in La Catalina’s school activities, but to also bring in the local people, such as the town artist, the local fisherman or the bread maker who may come from underprivileged backgrounds. Although many of these people never had the opportunity to attend school past a very young age, as they had to work to support their families, we try to find creative ways in which they can participate in the program to share with you their wisdom and their native tongue. Some of the jobs made available to these people through La Catalina School include:

  • Becoming a host family
  • Preparing food for students participating in home stay program
  • Being a guest presenter on cultural topics where they have first-hand experience
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