Wednesday, April 20, 2011

La Mariposa Spanish School

Foxy my favorite dog looking  down from the balcony

After Sabana Grande, we continued our trip to La Mariposa Spanish School ( the website it is 

Chester and I
We took Spanish classes and my teacher's name was Chester. He was fun; he liked to play games, he spoke English, we made houses out of cards, we watered the plants, and we learned Spanish (of course!). My mom had a bunch of different teachers. She had 2 teachers each day with 1 for conversation and 1 for grammar. Their names were Marlin, Kinema, Elisabeth, and Denis. It was like the school in Leon in that we had classes all morning and then activities in the afternoon-- trips to volcanoes, lakes, markets, museums, talks and history lessons, dance & cooking classes too.

Some of the Eco-hotel
one of our local pulperias
in La Concha
La Mariposa was in some sense like a magical place because as soon as you stepped through the yellow gates everything was so green and tropical, different than the local villages and towns.  La Mariposa was right out side of La Concha which was a small town outside of Masaya. Our school in Leon had almost the complete opposite setting then Mariposa because Dariana was in the city and Mariposa was not. Also the "classrooms" were huts in the middle of the gardens at Mariposa and in Leon, we were just in a building in 1 room. We ate lunch in the outdoor eating area near the terrace.They had an Eco-hotel and a cabin on site. You could also stay with a family but we had already done that for our whole trip before that so we stayed in the cabin; they didn't have any room in the Eco-hotel.
The terrace where sometimes we had classes
Where we ate meals, worked on computers, etc...

Our cabin

Our beds with mosquito nets
Me at the sink next to the shower
the dry latrine
We stayed in the bamboo cabin in the upstairs room that had a little balcony outside with hammocks and a table. The ceiling was completely open so sometimes at night bats would fly through! We had to use mosquito nets so the bugs wouldn't come into our beds. There were 2 rooms downstairs and 1 room upstairs. There was a latrine and a shower in a little bamboo house. We did not have hot water but the rooms did so I got to take hot showers twice when Shelby and Claire (other people staying there) let me use their showers. The cabin was right next to the monkeys and the birds so it was SUPER, DUPER LOUD in the morning and we didn't even hear our alarm go off!!!

Foxy and I

one of the two toucans!
the parrots eating lunch
At La Mariposa they had rescued animals. There were 7 dogs, which I liked a lot and there names were Molly, Toto (who was still a puppy and would nip you sometimes but he was huge), Holly(Toto's mom), Condor (who was a street dog but then brought into La Mariposa and is now healthy), Jas, Saltan (who looked like a cow and was the size of a cow), and Foxy (she was my favorite; that's why I saved her for last)!  There were a couple (or maybe just 1?) cats at La Mariposa. They mostly stayed up in Paulette's room though.There were also lots of birds that made sooo much noise! There were 2 toucans, tons of parrots, a hen of the mountains, and even a shore bird (a stilt I think). They also had rescued monkeys. There were 4 of them and 3 of them were males but there was 1 girl. She was very shy and always stayed in the corner of the cage. We fed them bananas and sometimes mangos or various fruits. A women named Beth made games that they could play and other interesting foods that they could eat.

2  out of the 4 Capuchin Monos

Me in the garden

The food that we ate at La Mariposa came from a couple of their organic gardens. There was 1 that was on site and you just had to walk down a path to get to it. During my lessons Chester would take me there and I would water the plants. The other garden was quite a ways down the road and so we never went there.

La Mariposa was even more like a magical place because when you looked out the windows sometimes we could see Guarduabarrancos (the Nicaragua national bird). They are really pretty with long tails and the bottom part of the tails have no feathers on them! We could also see beautiful sunsets at night.

Guarduabarranco (Nica National Bird)

one of our lovely sunsets

Pitaya (dragon fruit) plants 
                                                                                                                        We had lots of activities in the afternoon that were all different
a little pineapple
 kinds of things. Each week there was certain things that happened on certain days and there were other activities too. On Monday, there was usually talks that sometimes had movies to go along with them. On Wednesday, there was talks about the history of Nicaragua and at night some of us went to a pizza restaurant for dinner. The restaurant was a project that had the street kids make the pizza and work on the farms and they gave them a place to live instead of on the street. On Friday there were Las Noticias which were talks about political things that are happening in Nicaragua. Some of the other activities that we did were these. We went on a hike with Julio (he was part of a host family for home stays and he liked taking people on hikes). On the hike we stopped at an orange farm and at a banana plantation so we had lots of fruit for the hike! While we were hiking up the mountains, we saw pineapple plantations (a cool thing about them were that they were bright pink so it made the whole hillside look pink!) and pitaya (dragon fruit) plantations all over the place! We also went to Laguna de Apoyo which was a giant crater lake that you could swim in.
the pink part is a huge
pineapple farm

picking an orange

At Laguna de Apoyo

My mom with a banana plant

We also went to lots of markets and cities but I will write about them in another post!


  1. Dear Margot,

    You wrote a really nice blog. It's sounds like you had a great time on your trip. Are you studying Spanish in school now?

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