"Barco de Avila" El Barco de Ávila by virtualpatrick
El Barco de Ávila Travel Guide: 26 reviews and 116 photos
I was in Barco de Avila along the Gredos mountain range from Jan 23-Jan 30, 2004. I was involved in an English immersion program where English-speaking people can volunteer, in exchange for room and board, to provide an all-intensive 24/7 English speaking environment for clients. The program was run by Vaughan Systems (www.vausys.com) - one of Spain's largest in-company language training firm.
### 2012 update:
Pueblo Ingles has been rebranded and expanded into Diverbo (www.diverbo.com).
What's interesting about Diverbo is that they have programs in several countries, and even have a teen program. So Diverbo is a company to "keep an eye on" (an English idiom).
### 2006 Update:
In 2006, the "Englishtown" concept has been split up into 2 separate competing companies. Pueblo Ingles (www.puebloingles.com) has spun off from Vaughan Systems. While Richard Vaughan starts fresh with VaughanTown (www.vaughantown.com).
Pueblo Ingles continues their programs at their La Alberca, Salamanca; Valdelavilla, Soria; and Cazorla, Jaén venues. They also conducted several pilot programs in Tuscany, Italy.
VaughanTown starts their programs at Barco de Avila. This is the location where I attended my Englishtown program as you will see in the pictures here on my "Gredos" travel page.
I highly recommend English speaking people to partake and volunteer for either Englishtown program. I've met the staff running both programs and can assure you they are committed to bringing a rich cultural experience to their Spanish/Italian clients and English speaking volunteers. So check out both programs and see which one suits your taste.
Thinking I will be free from meeting another VTer at this location, I met another VTer EDavis doing the same program. Who would've known.
Not knowing where to put a majority of the candid photos from the week, I just put them in the section called "Local Customs" travel tips down below (there are around 40 photos in there)
Other pictures I have from this recent trip can be found in my Madrid and Segovia pages.
Other people who have posted pictures online about Englishtown Dream Teams:
+ Karen's Travelogue on: Gredos 51 (Jan 23-30, 2004), Gredos 52, Gredos 53
+ Dream Team 94)
+ others: 0 , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7
Here are recent newspaper articles describing the experience:
Atlanta Journal Counstitution article (Apr 23, 2006 Travel section)
Boston Globe article (Aug 1, 2004 Travel section)
DAY # 4: Time Schedule for ...
09:00 - 10:00 BREAKFAST (equal number of Spaniards and Anglos on table)
10:00 - 11:00 One-on-one talk with Spanish visitor no. 9
11:00 - 12:00 One-on-one talk with Spanish visitor no. 2
12:00 - 13:00 One-on-one talk with Spanish visitor no. 14
13:00 - 14:00 One-on-one talk with Spanish visitor no. 7
14:00 - 15:30 LUNCH (equal number of Spaniards and Anglos on table)
15:30 - 17:00 NAP, WALK, PERSONAL TIME, WHATEVER
17:00 - 18:00 Two-on-two group activity
18:00 - 19:00 One-on-one talk with Spanish visitor no. 1
19:00 - 20:00 One-on-one talk with Spanish visitor no. 20
20:00 - 21:00 One-on-one talk with Spanish visitor no. 22
21:00 - 22:00 Speeches, presentations, theatre, etc. (in social room all together)
22:00 - 23:30 DINNER (equal number of Spaniards and Anglos on table)
23:30 - ?? Laid-back late evening chat in small, spontaneous groups
The above schedule was typical when I was there. But since then, there is a revamped schedule which is more palatable...
I've created a Gredos Slideshow of some of the candid photos from Barco de Avila and Madrid. It's set to a background music of a medley of songs to give a flavor to the good times had at the program. The music can be turned off by clicking on the "speaker" button at the lower right of the slideshow.
After talking English to Spaniards for over 15 hrs per day for 7 days, we are still smiling. Or is it because of the... more travel advice
Me and Libby in a funky shot composition. more travel advice
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