Mission, Vision, History & Values of Habla Ya Spanish Schools

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The MOST amazing learning experience!

Latin America's most prestigious network of Spanish schools...

  • Our History: Habla Ya was born to become the #1 network of Spanish Schools in Latin America.
  • Habla Ya in the Press: mentions about Habla Ya in several internationally renown publications.
  • What We Do: learn more about the services we provide.
  • Our Mission: "to provide the most amazing Spanish learning experience."
  • Our Vision: "to become Latin America's top ranked network of Spanish schools."
  • Tourism Generation, Inc.: Habla Ya Spanish Schools follow the philosophy of the T.G. Inc. Group.
  • Values: "leadership, integrity, synergy, generosity, innovation, excellence and sustainability."
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History of Habla Ya Spanish Schools

Commited to Excellence from Day 1
A young institution full of highly qualified and experienced collaborators

When one our students ask us when was our Spanish school was founded they do not believe the answer we give them. It is difficult to believe how in such a short time an institution has reached such level of excellence. At Habla Ya Spanish Schools we know that this has been possible thanks to the team that we have been able to put together. Each and one of them are huge professionals on their own and have made a valuable contribution to make Habla Ya Panama Spanish Schools what it is today.

Here is a summarized storyline of Habla Ya's history:

  • April 2005. Explorations were made by Sergio Díaz and Julio Santamaría throughout Panama to find the ideal location for Habla Ya's first Spanish school.
  • May 2005. Initial business plan was developed.
  • June 2005. Boquete was chosen as Habla Ya's first plaza. Carlos Raúl Cabrera joined the team of founders and was appointed as the first School Director of Habla Ya Panama Spanish Schools Campus Boquete.
  • July 2005. Lucía Alvarado Cantero, a Spanish teacher from Costa Rica with 5 years of experience joined Habla Ya as its first Academic Director and gave the first training to our Spanish teachers.
  • August 2005. Habla Ya Boquete opened its doors to the public.
  • January 2006. Irma Changmarín Isaza was hired as Habla Ya's Academic Director after taking the course for teaching Spanish as a foreign language at the CLIC IH Sevilla in Spain. She then trained our teachers in the use of the Communicative Method and developed our level system and syllabus under the guidelines of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • November 2006. We began to work with our first agent: ISLS from New Mexico, U.S.A.
  • January 2007. ESL, an agent from Switzerland, who has been constanly short-listed and has also won the LTM Star Agency Awards in Europe, visited our school and chose our Spanish school in Panama to be amongst their Spanish schools.
  • April 2007. Our Spanish school moved to a brand new building, only 2 blocks away from our old Spanish school, still on Boquete's Central Avenue within downtown. This new building represented a 50% growth in facilities and our new physical premises have the quality of an international first class language school.
  • November 2007. Cactus Languages, one of Europe's top 4 agents, selected Habla Ya as their Spanish School in Boquete
  • March 2008. Julio Santamaría, CEO of Tourism Generation, Inc., became Habla Ya's second School Director and Carlos Raúl Cabrera, former Director, went out to found Explora Ya, Ecotourism & Adventure Travels, an initiative that was also part of the Tourism Generation, Inc. group.
  • August 2008. Lorena Pitt, became Habla Ya's third School Director and Janeth Martínez, was appointed as the new Academic Director.
  • January 2009. Added four new classrooms to our Campus in Boquete to make a total of 10.
  • December 2010. Added four new classrooms to our Campus in Boquete to make a total of 14, and expanded teachers' and students' area.
  • January 2011. Habla Ya Campus Boquete becomes part of the select group of Official DELE Examination Centers in Latin America.
  • July 2011. Added two new classrooms to our Campus in Boquete to make a total of 16, and expanded students' area.
  • September 2011. Habla Ya Boquete Campus gained accreditation by the Cervantes Institute, the worldwide authority for teaching Spanish as a foreign language.
  • October 2011. Habla Ya Bocas del Toro opened, with 8 classrooms.
  • January 2012. Habla Ya Bocas del Toro Campus also becomes an Official DELE Examination Center in Panama.
  • March 2013. Habla Ya Bocas del Toro Campus becomes an accredited Spanish school by the Instituto Cervantes. 4 new classrooms for a total of 12 in Bocas del Toro.
  • December 2014. Habla Ya Panama City opens its doors to the public, with 11 classrooms
  • July 2016. Habla Ya Panama City Campus also becomes an Official DELE Examination Center in Panama.
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To really get to know Habla Ya's history, you should get to know our Spanish Teachers and Staff.
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Habla Ya in the Press

What is the World Saying about Habla Ya?

Featured on Share and Travel, July 2015.

Share and Travel
"Combining learning Spanish (which makes you feel like you're achieving something) with the Bocas feeling of having to achieve nothing at all is why Bocas gave me something that could probably compete for being the time of my life."

As seen on the BBC Travel Show, August 2014 (featured at MINUTE 7)

Featured on Go Blue Central America GeoTourism MapGuide, by National Geographic, July 2013.

Geotourism Mapguide by National Geographic
"Habla Ya Spanish School in Bocas del Toro offers world-class accredited Spanish learning by the Instituto Cervantes, using only professionally qualified native Panamanian teachers. Through their Spanish immersion program, students often choose to live with local host families, providing the most authentic cultural experience and superior opportunity to practice Spanish as it is really spoken, whilst also contributing directly to the welfare of the local community. Those who prefer more privacy can also stay at several hotels within different budgets at discounted rates."

Report from The Blonde Abroad, by Kiersten Rich, June 2013.

The Blonde Abroad
"I had an awesome experience taking Spanish lessons at Habla Ya. Whether you're a beginner, have experience, want private lessons, or want to enroll in a full language program, there's something for everyone."

Report from Matador Network, by Camden Luxford, March 2011.

Matador Travel Network
"When I first started looking for Spanish schools to attend in Latin America, I was blown away by the difficulty of the decision. I weighed a million factors from the school's reputability and accreditation to local cost of living and even the number of gringos whom might distract me from the language at hand. Now that I've lived over a year in the region, the decision doesn't seem so overwhelming any more – I just wish I was starting from scratch again to enjoy the amazing programs on offer! In this article, I'm biased towards schools with cultural or volunteer programs, because they provide an excellent opportunity to practice and "live" Spanish. I also lean towards regions with a clearer accent (I'm afraid you won't be finding any Argentinian schools in this list!) I've listed accreditation for non-university institutes- for the uninitiated, Instituto Cervantes is the most prestigious. 4. Panama: Habla Ya Spanish School, Boquete. In addition to intensive Spanish courses, Habla Ya offers a range of social and cultural activities such as ecotours and adventure excursions, movie nights, charity quizzes and theme parties, latin dance and road trips. They take a communicative, conversational approach to classes."

Report from the Language Travel Magazine, by Gillian Evans, August 2010.

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"In Panama, Habla Ya Spanish School also offers a rich cornucopia of experiences to get to know the country and its people. Besides the obvious immersion programme, where students get to live with a local host family, and weekly conversational sessions, where students get together with locals and each get a chance to practice their language skills, Habla Ya also provides volunteer placement services. In contrast with Costa Rica, Panama remains relatively untouched by tourism. Panama has many places where you just cannot shake off the feeling that you're the first person to be there. Panama is the path less travelled and many people are attracted to Panama because there are so many beautiful places that are completely untouched and pristine. Boquete is a natural choice for a Spanish language school. It has a charming rural feel of tranquility and peace which is ideal for someone wanting to relax and study. The town's 1000 meters above sea level takes 10 degrees celcius of Panama's average temperature and the opportunities for outdoor activites are literally endless... it comes to no wonder that Boquete is now considered Panama'as Eco-Adventure Capital."

Report from the The Statesman (Austin, Texas Newspaper), by John DeFore, July 2010.

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"Luckily, my second school offered just this environment. In the cool, lush mountain town of Boquete, I lived for a week with a socially active couple who didn't speak a word of English. Francisco was a handsome rancher whose multiple businesses kept him hustling; his wife, Guadalupe, was the kind of matriarch who will gossip with you even when she knows you only get 15 USD percent of what she's dishing. I liked them immediately and was motivated to stretch the limits of my Spanish to keep up with them and their extended family, who visited often. The Habla Ya school there had the best reputation of any organization I researched - something I considered strange because Boquete is far from larger tourist centers like the capital and the burgeoning Bocas Del Toro beach zone. But the large, youthful staff here is as serious about ensuring students' enjoyment of their stay as about finding classroom methods that work for everyone. Headquartered in the town's most modern office center, they organize activities like white-water rafting, zipline tours of nearby forests and tours of Boquete's world-famous coffee plantations. (Gourmet coffee is free for students throughout the day - a good perk when you're trying to survive 24/7 without relying on your mother tongue.) Habla Ya catered to groups of visitors (like a gaggle of sorority sisters whose class was down the hall from mine) and to loners, four of whom made up my class. Our comfort levels with Spanish varied, but my instructor Ismenia made the most of that, pacing interactions with students so we'd learn from each other's progress as well as from her. Though Boquete is minuscule compared with Panama City, I would happily have spent far more time in the smaller town. Evidently, plenty of other Yankees feel the same: The area, with its public gardens full of exotic flowers, its nearby hot springs and its proximity to attractions like the dormant Baru volcano, has been picked as a top retirement spot by some American magazines. There's enough natural beauty to soak up in Boquete to make the challenge of learning a language less daunting even for a lingo-phobe like me. No, a week there didn't leave me able to watch Almodóvar films without subtitles. But it showed me how much I can digest in a short time, given a conducive environment - and introduced me to enough fascinating people and places to remind me how worthwhile learning another language is."

Report from The Sydney Morning Herald, January 2010.

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"Rural and idyllic, the highland town of Boquete is the place to base yourself if you like long walks in the verdant countryside, quiet evenings and fine coffee from the award-winning local plantations. Panamanians say Boquete has changed beyond all recognition in the past decade because of the influx of elderly Americans retiring there. But it's still a sleepy place and Spanish is, by far, the dominant language used on the streets. Boquete's highly rated Habla Ya Panama Spanish School (hablayapanama.com) offers a selection of tailor-made courses, with discounts the longer you stay."

5 stars from About.com Central America Travel, by Kirsten Hubbard, September 28, 2009.

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"I had the chance to experience Spanish lessons at Habla Ya Spanish School in Boquete, Panama, and let me tell you -- if you're looking to study Spanish in Central America, Habla Ya should top your list. The Bottom Line: top-quality Spanish teachers, flexible lessons, a comfortable yet stylish space, and cultural immersion activities every day of the week make Habla Ya Panama not just the preeminent Spanish school in the country, but one of the best in Latin America. Fully recommended."

From Abroad 101, by Martha Staid, October 6, 2009.

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"Whether you're planning to study abroad or just want to travel somewhere cheap and off-the-beaten-path, Central America is a great destination. Here are five top places to visit, and things to do there. All of these towns are easily walkable and have Spanish language schools, if you want to brush up on your español or start from scratch.
1. Boquete, Panama. Get out of the heat of Panama City in this laid-back town in the (very pretty) highlands. You can take small, personalized Spanish classes at the super-friendly Habla Ya Spanish School, or just let them arrange your activities: rafting, hikes, dance lessons, volunteering and more. They offer homestays with local families, too..."

From the Lonely Planet Travel Guides, Panama, 4th Edition, by Matthew Firestone, November 2007.

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"The reader-recommended Habla Ya Language Center (tel. 730 - 8344); www.hablayapanama.com; Central Av.) offers both group and private lessons. Five hours of group/private lessons starts at $50/$75, though significant discounts are given for lengthier programs - 25 hours of group/private lessons is only $200/$300. The language school is well-connected to local businesses, so students can take advantage of discounts on everything from accommodations to tours."
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From Frommer's Guide Books, Panama, 2nd Edition, by Jisel Perilla, December 31, 2008. This extract was also published on the online version of The New York Times under Spanish Language Programs.

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"Habla Ya Language Center, located on Avenida Central above the Global Bank (tel. 730 - 8344; www.hablayapanama.com), offers intensive "survival" Spanish courses, as well as more advanced conversational and fluency courses. Beginner survival courses are ideal for the traveling monolinguals with little time in Boquete but who'd love to speak enough to get around; weekly group classes cost $46 for 5 hours, $170 for 20 hours; weekly private courses cost $75 for 5 hours and $260 for 20 hours. If you plan to spend a lot of time in Boquete, note that the institute offers dance classes and other activities."

From Moon Handbooks, Panama, 2nd Edition, by William Friar, November 2008.

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"The Habla Ya Language School (Los Establos Plaza, tel. 730 - 8344, cell 6480-4506, www.hablayapanama.com, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Mon. - Fri., 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sat., closed Sun.) offers a flexible menu of Spanish courses that includes an ultra-compressed "Spanish for Travelers" package (10 - 20 hours over 2 - 5 days), beginner crash courses, and longer-term, total-immersion packages that can include homestays with local families. Prices are per hour, starting at US$105.95 (group class) or US$150 (private lessons) for 10 hours. Special offers are sometimes available. Free extras at the school include a café with wireless Internet, Wednesday-night Spanish-language movies, conversational sessions, and Saturday afternoon salsa and merengue lessons. The school can also arrange lodging, field trips, and outdoor adventures."
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Many former Spanish students also have many things to say about us. Please visit our students testimonial's section and you'll find links to our student's blogs and other travel websites where you'll find many reviews about Habla Ya. Please let us know if you're aware of any other publication that has wrote about Habla Ya Panama Spanish Schools: Spanish learners deserve to know who is the best!
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Services Provided

Spanish learning vacations are a wonderful way to learn the language
Services Provided
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We feel extremely fortunate to be involved in the Language Travel Industry as it combines some of the most amazing experiences you can have in your life: getting to know other places in the world, cultures, people and languages!
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Mission of Habla Ya Spanish Schools

We Don't Want You to Just Learn Spanish...
Everybody at Habla Ya is commited in providing the best Spanish learning experience

Our mission is the reason why we exist. Day by day it reminds us of our purpose. At Habla Ya Spanish Schools we do not want you to just learn Spanish... we want you to LIVE THE MOST AMAZING SPANISH LEARNING EXPERIENCE!

At our Spanish schools in Panama you'll not only learn how to speak Spanish in the shortest timeframe possible: you'll have the time of your life doing so!

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Our Mission: "to provide the most amazing Spanish learning experience."
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Vision of Habla Ya Spanish Schools

To Become Latin America's Top Ranked Network of Spanish Schools...
To gain a place amongst the most prestigious language centers in Latin America we only hire the best teachers... and train them intensively

Our vision tells us where our future lies. We measure ourselves against our goals and continually reinvent ourselves to make sure we will reach our destiny. Having already earned a place amongst the best Spanish schools in Panama we have set ourselves the vision to be amongst the most prestigious Spanish schools in Latin America. How do we do this? The idea behind Habla Ya's success is simple: we simply put the most talented people together. We are not afraid to work with people that are better than us and that is how we achieve excellence in what we do.

At Habla Ya Panama Spanish Schools you'll find the most experienced, trained and passionate Spanish teachers that you'll ever encounter.

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Our Vision: "to become Latin America's top ranked network of Spanish schools."
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Tourism Generation, Inc.

We Want to Influence the Type of Tourism Panama Attracts...
A truly Panamanian company working for a better future for Panama

The young group of entrepreneurs that initiated Tourism Generation, Inc. chose the company's name thinking about two ideas. First of all, they are part of the generation that is living the tourism boom in Panama: the tourism generation. And secondly, they decided to be an active part of that tourism generation in order to influence the type of tourism that Panama would attract. They would generate tourism for their country but not any type of tourism: quality tourism, sustainable tourism. Tourism that would add to their country, making it a better place for all Panamanians and for those who chose to visit our country.

At Habla Ya Panama Spanish Schools we achieve this by:

  • Being a place in which our collaborators can fulfill their professional aspirations and desires, by helping them procure what they need for their families, putting them in a position where they can exploit their talents and by creating an environment where they can become better persons.
  • Adding real value to our customers lives, always being part of the solution, not of the problem. We will always help people improve their quality of life and we will never be part of a business that goes against the human nature or society's real values and needs.
  • Doing well our job to make sure that it will have a direct and positive impact in society. In this way we are a socially responsible company by simply achieving our business' goal and fulfilling its natural purpose. We do not have to rely on secondary or alternative activities to contribute to a better future for the society we live in and to comply with our Social Responsibility. We do organize, contribute and participate with social and volunteer projects, but we believe that our major contribution to society is through the value that we add to our collaborators and customers lives.
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If you would like to work or to do business with Tourism Generation, Inc., feel free to Contact Us.
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Values

Our values guide our actions and support each decision we make in order to reach our vision and fulfill our mission.

Leadership

Being a leader is about finding the truth, sharing it with others, motivating them to reach it and then helping them reach it. At Habla Ya Panama Spanish Schools, our vision and our mission are our truths and each and one of us knows that and helps each other to reach our vision and fulfill our mission.

Integrity

We act with honesty, responsibility and respect towards others at all times. In each and every person we see that: a person that deserves all the respect in the world and has every single right to aspire to happiness. Each and one of us have an intrinsic and unlimited value that always has to be taken into account.

Synergy

The Habla Ya Panama Spanish Schools team is built by the best professionals in our field. We achieve our goals through teamwork and by sharing a common vision and mission. Each individual in the organization is a valuable member of the Habla Ya team and contributes towards setting and achieving its goals. We know that by working together we can get a lot further. We are part of something that is a lot bigger than the sum of all of us.

We don't believe this just to obtain results, we work together because Habla Ya is a real family in which we really care about each other, in which we want everyone to be better and to get further and we know that success that is not shared is really not success.

Generosity

We look not to only transmit knowledge, but to leave something of us into each and one of the students who passes through our classrooms. Very strong friendships have started in our classrooms and have continued outside of them. We will do whatever is in our hands to help you live the best Spanish learning experience. It is our passion to provide the highest levels of satisfaction to our students and that is why we work to be the best of the best.

Innovation

We are commited to unlock the full potential of our people and methods to provide the most effective and enjoyable learning experience. To us, the methodology and materials have to be incarnated by our people in order to make them better. This is why we never regret intelligently spending resources and time in training our teachers in the newest teaching methods and always encouraging to them find better ways in doing what we do.

Through novel initiatives we leverage our knowledge and ability to deliver efficient client-focused solutions that are responsive and tailored to their needs. We are continuously looking for better ways to serve our students, and we love making changes when we know it will improve our final service.

Commitment to Excellence

We challenge ourselves to be the best we can be and to always do what it takes to exceed our student's expectations in everyway, everyday. We do not just teach Spanish, we give our students the best Spanish learning experience. At Habla Ya Panama Spanish Schools you'll not receive a consistent performance... each time it will be better.

Sustainability

We combine our strong performance with our unwavering commitment to society and environment. The educational needs are very profound in the communities in which our centers operate, so we give back through education, which is the key for a better tomorrow. We also help by putting our students and teachers in contact with many different volunteer projects. We work create a clear conscious on the main environmental issues and then propose and suggest solutions to specific situations that everybody can implement in their normal life.

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We consider ourselves realists. Our values have an objective value. They are our values, but they are real values, and make ours and others lives really better.
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