Meet the 2018 Immersion Chaperone to Spain!

Meet the 2018 Immersion Chaperone to Spain!


¡Hola a todos! I am Lisa Rodriguez, Spanish teacher at West Linn High School. This will be my fourth experience with ANDEO, and I am excited to be leading the trip to Spain in 2018

This is my third year there, but fourth year teaching the language. I began my teaching journey while finishing grad school as a part-time Spanish teacher for a year at Corvallis High School, before finding my way to West Linn. My husband and I live with our black lab mix fur baby, Oliver, in Canby. I am blessed to have a family of in-laws that are native Spanish speakers, and get to practice my conversational Spanish – different than my teacher Spanish – with them on a regular basis.

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I began learning Spanish in 6th grade because it was required, but instantly fell in the love with the language. I took Spanish all three years in middle school and all four in high school. I received a Bachelor’s in Spanish from Western Oregon University, and continued on to receive my Master’s of Arts in Teaching Spanish, also from WOU. I loved (and still do!) talking about grammar, how pieces of language are put together to communicate different ideas, and especially how what seems like the same language, differs in various countries and cultures.

I have been so lucky to have had several different opportunities to travel, mostly with Andeo! This upcoming Spain trip will be my fourth experience with them. The summer before my senior year of high school, I participated in a two-week language program in Oaxaca, Mexico through Andeo as a student. I enjoyed the whole package: taking language courses, eating authentic food, staying with a local host family, and seeing a different part of the world. I had never been out of the country before, and learned so much about myself as a global community member, and quickly improved my Spanish language skills in the short time that I was there. This sparked my passionate interest for traveling to other Spanish-speaking countries to learn more about the language and respective cultures in authentic settings.

Summer 2015, about a month before I got married, I chaperoned my first trip to Madrid with Andeo. We spent about two and a half weeks on a similar language trip, and I really enjoyed experiencing the trip on the other side of things as a chaperone. That same summer, my new hubby and I spent 10 days in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on our honeymoon. This past summer, I chaperoned another two-week trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, also through Andeo. My first time in South America, I learned so many new linguistic nuances and enjoyed being in a Spanish-speaking place that had both European and Latino influences. This upcoming year, I will be chaperoning the Andeo immersion trip to Madrid, my second time to Spain, but will also be co-chaperoning a community service learning trip to Peru with a colleague over Spring Break.

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I see true value in international travel. Not only do these opportunities give us a chance to grow as individuals, but it encourages cross-cultural connections and relationships that promote better understanding and acceptance of diversity, something I think is desperately needed and relevant in our world right now. I, of course, treasure my own personal growth while on these types of trips, but as a Spanish teacher, thoroughly enjoy getting to see young people experiencing something new, out of their comfort zone, growing in their language skills, and coming home with a more well-rounded understanding of the world around them. I too bring home so much knowledge and experiences that I can incorporate into my teaching and share with my students. I am so excited to be a part of this trip with your student and know we are going to have an unforgettable adventure.

¡Vámonos a Madrid!