I don't know if this topic will resonate here, but I'm not sure where else it might go on the MDC boards...
I have regularly traveled to Mexico with my 2 boys since I became a mama. That's where all of DH's brothers and sisters live as well as his parents. I've always been happy to give my kids an opportunity to connect with this side of their family as well as to give them the language immersion experience that I feel is so very important. I am certain that if it weren't for our trips to Mexico, my older DS would never have been on-board with speaking Spanish as much as he does...
The trouble is that this is the first year that we're consciously *not* traveling to Mexico due to recent violence in the area (some of which has been directed at DH's family). This is extremely sad for me (as DS1 keeps asking *when* we're going to go back...) It's mostly sad for the lost connection with DH's family, but it's also sad b/c we've lost our standard language immersion trip. And given that DS2 (4 y/o) refuses to speak Spanish right now, I consider this a really huge loss!
So... I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to how/where I could go about looking for some other immersion experience? What else might there be in Latin America for a family that wants to practice Spanish? I am a fluent Spanish-speaker and open to just about any kind of program that has at least a bit of structure.... the only things I want to avoid are 1) Mexico (it would be impossible for us to travel to the country w/o feeling pressure to visit DH's home) and 2) random travel that would require me to personally seek out immersion opportunities for the kids--I'm too lazy for that.
I'm so sorry to hear about your family's situation. How difficult that must be!
There are so many spanish immersion opportunities. I don't speak spanish and don't have personal experience with any of them. But if you look up "spanish immersion vacation" in google, you find a lot. There is even the Concordia Language Villages in Minnesota!
I hope you get some good suggestions for people with more personal experience with this. Good luck!
Mama to a bilingual (Arabic/English) and cuddly 3 year old, and planning another peaceful homebirth in June.
Are you looking specifically for travel opportunities, or also opportunities to keep them involved in the language in your local community? A quick Google search on language immersion for kids brought up a few cool ideas:
- Language immersion summer camps - seems like a fun way to help them make other Spanish-speaking kids, while also getting language practice
- DVDs, CDs, and even video games that help teach language
- Playgroups or after-school activities that are exclusively in Spanish
I'm not sure what your childcare situation is, but my parents always made sure our babysitters and nannies spoke German or Spanish with us so that we were raised exposed to both. Me and my DH have kept with that "tradition" by hiring professional au pairs from German-speaking countries and asking that they speak exclusively German with the kids. This has worked really well for us.
Hopefully one or more of these ideas is of some help to you!