By Marcia Banes

“I don’t speak Spanish” is a phrase that you might expect to hear in Nosara from a visiting Tourist, but it is more often used by many of Nosara’s long term residents who speak little or no Spanish. As the number of foreign residents moving to Nosara increases, so does the need for a spanish education program for residents. Aspiring to meet that need, The Nosara Spanish Institute (NSI) will be opening its doors on June 7th, located within the community on Playa Pelada. The NSI will be offering Spanish education packages to individuals and corporations who want to receive an “education on vacation” and will also be offering a condensed version of the intensive program for Nosara residents. The Institute’s founder, Marco Johanning, hopes that this program for locals will help unite the non-Spanish speaking community with the local Tico community. “It is no secret that in Nosara we have two very different worlds” Marco tells VON. “One of the goals of NSI is to help bridge the gap between these worlds and bring the Costa Rican culture back to the American Project. Communication is the key to accomplishing this goal.” Like many Costa Ricans, Johanning feels strongly about the importance of foreign residents making an effort to learn the local language. “One cannot fully understand a culture or place until you learn its language. For those who wish to live part or full time in Costa Rica, it is immensely beneficial to know Spanish to go about your day to day life. You will develop a deeper insight into the country and gain appreciation from locals who applaud the effort.”
The Spanish program follows the same approach as the intensive standard program with the main objective being to increase the student’s conversational skills. The classes are taught in Spanish by instructors who are University qualified to teach Spanish as a second language. Unlike the intensive program that is taught 4 hours a day, the local’s program is taught for only 2 hours a day and will also be offered at a reduced price from the NSI’s standard rates.