The Viceroy resort was formerly the Tides Zihuatanejo // © 2014 Viceroy Hotels and Resorts
Lots of parents tell their kids that learning can be fun. And Mexico provides numerous ways to prove the grown-ups right, thanks to an array of children’s language classes, available in major resort destinations as well as historic colonial cities.
Several large, all-inclusive hotels offer language classes as part of their children’s programs. AMResorts, for example, offers free Spanish lessons for kids as part of its resort-wide entertainment program at Now Jade Riviera Cancun. At the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, the Cabo Kids Escuela offers a “Spanish 101” class for children ages 5 to 18. Led by a private tutor and limited to two children at a time, the classes cost $25 per hour and include a tour of the hotel, which allows kids to interact with different departments and learn basic greetings and interactions.
In the Playa Hotels & Resorts portfolio, the Gran Caribe Real Cancun and Gran Porto Real Playa del Carmen have a free children’s program for ages 4 to 12, called the Oki Kids Club, which incorporates language learning into a bingo-style game. Rather than using numbers, the hotel’s customized game uses words in both Spanish and Mayan. Another option is Azul Hotels by Karisma, where the Mini Mayans program works language learning into its crafts and Maya-cooking classes. Barcelo Hotels also offers free Spanish language classes for children and adults at its Barcelo Maya Palace property, while Sandos Hotels & Resort offers classes at its Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos property.
A number of private, independent language schools in Mexico offer short-term programs for children, targeted at foreign vacationers. Tour operators, including Tia Stephanie Tours, which specializes in cultural tours, can help agents and individuals extend their trips to include classes in a variety of destinations.
In the city of Oaxaca, choices include Becari, where groups are limited to five children and classes often include activities such as museum visits and workshops. An organization called Solexico offers two-week Spanish-language programs for children age 7 to 15, in Oaxaca, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta and Guanajuato. And Instituto Chac-Mool offers classes for children as young as four, in both Cuernavaca and Tulum. One option for younger kids at Chac-Mool is a program designed as a day camp, which allows students to learn Spanish through a variety of activities including games, storytelling, singing and play acting. Chac-Mool’s Spanish Prep program, designed for teens and children with previous experience with Spanish, includes workshops, social activities and sports.
With so many options, it’s easy for young travelers to return home from vacation with something more meaningful than just a bag full of souvenirs.