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All reviewslearn spanishlocal communitytwo weekshome stayhost familyall agesafternoon activitiessan juanlearning experiencehorseback ridingcentral americavery special placefour hoursnicaraguan historyother guestsyear old daughterpaulette goudge
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Reviewed 8 April 2014

My mornings of waking on my deck, with the birds and the "monos" , have become my time of reflection.
I feel a little melancholy about leaving La Mariposa in 4 days. It has been such a rich place and experience for me.

I wrote my children this morning, sharing what I have learned from Johanna about the love within families down here, of a mother for her children in particular.

Julio has shown me the natural beauty of this country, as well as a glimps of rural life. I suggest that his walks be named " the pineapple walks". I have been with him the past 4 Sunday mornings, and all have ended eating fresh picked pineapple, dripping through our fingers!

Jenny has shown me her intelligence - especially in her ability to perceive how I learn best, tailor her style to best serve me, and let me lead the way in terms of what I feel ready to study/when I feel ready to advance.

Johanna is my cultural and spiritual teacher - the culture I came hoping to learn about. The Spiritual is a pearl added to my string.

Paulette, you are the best of what a director can be. Your interns follow your example - greeting and showing everyone your smile, love of this place, the animals, the culture, the people. I hope you will find a balance in your life that gives you the personal time you want and need but keeps you attached to La Mariposa. No one could replace you. I am very happy to have been here while you are.

Amanda, you manage challenge with grace and gentleness. Thank you for always doing your best to accommodate my wishes and needs. You are also beautiful on the outside - a reminder of my own daughter.

Ruth, Max & Richard, I have had less interaction with you. But thank you for your commitment to this school. Paulette is fortunate to have your dedication, and you are all fortunate for this opportunity. I expect it will shape your futures as my own experience on an organic farm in Switzerland when I was young, shaped mine and in turn that of my children.

Thank you all for all that you do. I will be back someday I feel certain, and see you again, or hear of your lives.

Hugs to you all,
Cathy MacKay

Room Tip: If you are an outdoors lover, the cabana is very sweet (but you will see harmless spiders…), and use a very clean outhouse, and shower a short walk away. Staying at La Mariposa is convenient and very nice, however home stay will give you more spanish immersion.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Cathy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Dear Cathy....what a beautifully written review. Thank you from the bottom of our heart!! Of course part of the reason we are what we are is because of the kind of guests we attract....that make the hard work worthwhile! I do hope you come back someday.

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Reviewed 6 April 2014

I visited La Mariposa in January 2014 for 3 weeks. I was able to advance my language skills and I learned a great deal about Nicaragua. The school is fabulous with one-to-one lessons. The teachers are all well-trained, friendly and helpful. I stayed in the Eco Lodge. My room was simple, clean and had a private bathroom with hot water. The excursions were fun and helped me to become acquainted with the country and its people (my first time) before continuing my travels with my girlfriend.
Thank you Paulette for your warm welcome (sorry it took to so long to finally write my review). I would definitely consider returning and highly recommend La Mariposa for all who are searching for this type of environment.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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Thank SusyQ2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Hey Susy, thank you so much for your review......I am really glad that being at the mariposa gave you a bit more confidence to travel around Nicaragua which is still a very lovely country. Come back and see us again!

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Reviewed 4 April 2014

We're a family of four with two teenagers, and have been studying Spanish at the Mariposa off and on for about eight months - August 2013 to present - while living in our own home in a nearby community.

We have nothing but wonderful things to say about the people, the language program and the setting. Paulette has done an excellent job of creating a welcoming, comfortable and effective educational environment. The staff are friendly and willing to go out of their way to accommodate guests and students. The teachers are well-trained and are great encouragers, making learning Spanish a truly enjoyable and even fun experience. We so appreciate their patience and flexibility with our differing needs, and the way they helped to ease our transition when we were nervous newbies in Nicaragua with almost no knowledge of Spanish, Nicaraguan culture, etc. The Eco-hotel grounds are a beautiful, cool retreat from the tropical heat, with sun-dappled patios and walking paths, shady ranchitos and lots of trees and flowers.

We've also stayed for lunch occasionally, and the food has always been delicious, loaded with fresh produce grown using organic, eco-friendly methods on the Mariposa farm.

One thing we've thoroughly enjoyed is meeting fellow students/guests/volunteers of all ages from all over the world and from every walk of life. It's wonderful how the Mariposa draws people together from every demographic imaginable.

All-in-all a great experience and we highly recommend La Mariposa, and this area of Nicaragua as well, which is beautiful with a wonderfully comfortable climate, and warm, friendly people.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank all41and14all
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Dear Brian and family...it was a great pleasure to get to know you all and share some of lifes ups and downs over a few months. Thank you for the sweet potato contact which I hope I get to follow up, they were delicious! I am glad we will be neighbours and hope we can stay in touch.

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Reviewed 1 April 2014

I spent three weeks at the Mariposa in October 2013. I loved it.

I found this school on the internet and decided to visit based on the strength of the reviews. I felt well informed on what the experience would be like and had realistic expectations. My expectations were exceeded for sure.

I appreciated the quality of instruction in Spanish. The instructors are very good and will challenge you if you want. I certainly felt challenged most of the time. Learning a new language is a great humbling experience. I travelled for three more weeks in Nicaragua after the Mariposa and felt very good with my ability to communicate as a result of my time at the Mariposa.

Even for a picky eater, I enjoyed the food. It was very good. I appreciated the simplicity and healthful aspect of the meals.

The staff at the Mariposa were great. They were very laid-back, flexible, and accommodating to the students needs. I especially enjoyed the interactions with the other students and the side trips and adventures we had. It was almost like summer camp for adults. The diversity of the students really added to my experience.

I hope to go back soon to work on my Spanish some more.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Andrew P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2014

I have studied Spanish in Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Spain, but these teachers were the best ever. Having one on one instruction in such a beautiful setting is fantastic. I had two hours of instruction in conversation with Veronia and two hours of grammar with Alba. Both were excellent. Alba is the only teacher I've had who could thoroughly explain the different uses of por and para. I sure miss being able to walk in the woods on the property and eat mandarinos, and eat all those fantastic vegetarian meals with such nice people. The food is so healthful that I ate and ate and still lost weight. This place could be a fat farm. For snacks there was always a big bunch of bananas hanging outside the kitchen for helping yourself.

The outing to Laguna de Apoyo was just fantastic. We all loved the place and swam in the warm water as long as we wanted. Do not waste your time with the outing to see the Brothers Godoy concert in Managua. It doesn't start until 9:30, they aren't very good, and they talk too much and too fast in Spanish. You can hire a driver to take you to the beach at LaBoquita, only an hour away, for $15 per person, minimum of three. Definitely see the Masaya Volcano at night and hike in the bat caves--very cool! If it's not on the schedule you can probably arrange it through the school.

There is laundry service every day for next to nothing. I paid them many times what they were asking because it was too cheap. They don't iron clothes though so don't expect crisp and pressed. This is not a problem because everyone dresses very casual.

I am usually very careful about what I eat when I travel to developing countries. However, at La Mariposa I ate everything and drank large quantities of the water with absolutely no digestive problems. Do not hesitate to come here by yourself. More than half the students are solo and everyone is very friendly. This is not just a school for college kids, but all ages from children to people in their 70s (probably even older) thrive here.

Room Tip: My hotel room #1 on the end was large with two beds and windows on two sides. I brought ear plugs so the birds did not wake me up.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
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Thank AnneG0772
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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