"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)

Typical day as a volunteer "Anglo" in Englishtown

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)
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...

GREDOS SLIDESHOW to Gipsy Kings music

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.

  • Last visit to El Barco de Ávila: Jan 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (57)

Comments (5)

  • DJStarr's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    Greetings! I loved your slideshow set to music about the EnglishTown experience in Spain. I'm considering going myself, they and PuebloIngles now have more locations? Suggestions from their offerings?

  • sugarpuff's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2006 at 8:59 PM

    i cant get onto your external site to watch your slideshow, can you let me know if its all set up properly...thanks!

  • skye820's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2005 at 9:38 AM

    I'll be in Barco on Nov 11th! This should be interesting...

  • EDavis's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2004 at 7:01 PM

    Patrick, The pictures are all good! Thanks for sharing them.

  • ceswho's Profile Photo
    Feb 4, 2004 at 10:33 PM

    I wonder if you will still talk when you get back. How baout some spanish, instead of english.


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