We mix learning practical Spanish with walking trips into the Picos de Europa national park. We use native Spanish teachers for morning classes in Spanish followed by 4hr walking trips to see local culture, the mountains and environmental projects. The area is a truly wild part of Europe with wolves and bears still wild in the mountains. The Picos de Europa are not the Spain as most people think of it's green with rivers and the mountains rise straight from the Atlantic coast. We are located rurally in the North of Spain in an area that has low employment levels.
Member since: 14 Mar 2013
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
Economic responsibilityThe school employs local teachers, cleaners and guides
Transport is via local taxi or minibus to the mountain routes. As we are in a remote setting public transport to walking locations is unavailable
We use local stores and businesses wherever possible
Environmental responsibilityAll of our paper is recycled, and we recycle our printer cartridges. Even our whiteboard markers are re-fillable
We pick up and drop off our students to their flights or public transport depots as a group, thus minimising unnecessary travel
We monitor, record and review our purchases of materials monthly, to see where we can make cost and environmental improvements
The Picos de Europa has some very remote and ancient villages in valleys high up in the mountains. The tradition in these villages is to have a bar/shop at the centre of the village. Many of these have closed down in recent times due to lack of use, which is a problem for elderly locals and others as these villages can be cut off in winter for months. Also individual families have to travel to make purchases instead of a bulk load to a shop. We frequent these whenever possible which creates great interest in our students and helps keep them alive.
After spending several years in the UK, Ana returned to her home village to set up a travel and educational company. Her aim was to share the culture, language and landscapes she grew up with, and to bring employment to this beautiful, rural area of Asturias.