Volunteering in Spain with Vaughan Town and Pueblo Ingles

Volunteering in Spain: Two Programs that Offer English-Speaking Volunteers Full Room and Board

By Stephen Bugno

 

 

I’m almost as exhausted as they are, but somehow they keep going. This is supposed to be easy for me, right? English is my native language.

 

They sun is about to set in our small “English Village” but the Spaniards stay positive, excited, and focused despite the long day. We are far from the urban expanse of Madrid, four hours by bus in the sparsely populated region of Extremadura. We are a group of English speakers volunteering at Pueblo Ingles for a week.

 

Free Room and Board for Speaking English?

 

That’s right. At either Pueblo Ingles or Vaughan Town, (two different companies that run similar English immersion programs for Spaniards) volunteering as an Anglo-speaker gets you a free week in rural Spain. But it’s much more than that. It’s a great opportunity to meet and form close relationships with Spanish people in a surprisingly short period of time.

 

It’s also a great way to extend your travels, add something different to your usual holiday, or just save some money on your expensive European vacation. But most of all, it’s an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary in our modern age of fast-paced living and working and just sit down and have a conversation. Well…have lots of conversations, actually.

 

The Model

 

 

So here’s the concept: pair about 20 Spaniards with 20 native English speakers in a village in rural Spain. Live together, eat together, and speak together about 14 hours a day. It’s exhausting, yes, but universal agreement in the success among the much-improved English of the Spaniards and the satisfaction of happily enriched Anglos.

 

The core of the program is the one-to-one sessions. During these 50-minute blocks, pairs have the opportunity to stretch past simple and superficial chats. You can sit and drink coffee or go for slow walks. After only five full days, it’s remarkable how open and close everyone becomes, not only with the Spaniards, but even with the other English speakers which come from a diverse range of countries including the U.K., Ireland, Canada, the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand just to name a few.

 

Besides the one-to-ones, pairs sometimes join up to form groups of four to discuss issues or solve mock problems. In addition, an hour a day is devoted to various entertainments. There’s even a special program one of the nights.

 

Requirements for Volunteers

 

 

Basically, Anglo volunteers need to be native speakers and have enough life experiences to keep them talking for up to 14 hours per day. They must also pledge that not a word of Spanish will be spoken by them the entire week; a promise that is taken seriously. An English-only environment is crucial to the success of the program.

 

Volunteers are offered a nice, private room and three meals a day in a beautiful rural setting in the Spanish countryside. Volunteers are required to take care of their own travel expenses to and from Spain and for accommodation before and after the program. Pueblo Ingles runs a seven-day course and Vaughan Town a five-day.

 

For More Information

 

Further information and applications can be found and filled out on-line at the VaughanTown or Pueblo Ingles websites. Programs run year round but most are available from June to September.

 

 

 

Stephen Bugno attended both Pueblo Ingles and Vaughn Town in the summer of 2008 and remained in Spain for another nine months teaching English. For more than a decade he has worked, volunteered, and traveled his way around the world. He blogs at BohemianTraveler.com

 

12 thoughts on “Volunteering in Spain with Vaughan Town and Pueblo Ingles”

  1. Pingback: Teaching English in Madrid | GoMad Nomad Travel Mag

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  3. I am a psychiatric retired nurse, have ridden my bike from Seattle to
    Atlantic City, NJ, have gone on Semester at Sea a 100 voyage around the world and would like to further my adventures most anyway for a good cause.

  4. Pingback: Teaching English in Spain through Pueblo Inglés and Vaughan Town : MADbudget | The Ultimate Guide to Madrid

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  6. Hi Vaughan town,
    My wife and I have been approved to travel to one of the Vaughan town locations, in Spain, to volunteer in the English program. We are now planning travel to Europe during the fall of 2012. We are committed 24 -30 October but would be free to come to a Vaughan town location before or after. Would you be so kind as to advise dates for programs before 24 Oct or after 30 Oct. 2012.
    With appreciation,
    Alan

    1. Hi Alan, my wife Mary Ann and I completed a week for Vaughantown in Ocober 2010 at Puerta de Gredos. It was by far one of the most uplifting experiences of my life. I talk about it to friends and family often. It takes a little adjustment because of the dining schedule, but by Wednesday of the week you will have found that you have made a bunch of new friends. Here it is almost two years since we did the program and I am still in contact with the Spanish and the Anglos via e-mial and facebook. You will be surprised how much the week will mean to you! If you can, work thru Mayte Ziga the the web site email, and ask for a program that Carmen Villa and Pete Brown are doing. They have a tremendous chemistry and they really accentuated a wonderful program. My daughter and I are going to back in October…maybe I will run into you at the Anglos reception the Saturday night before you leave on the bus. In regards to accomodations, the apartments at the Euro Builidng where the reception is and the bus leaves from is probably two star American, and there are no local places to grab a cup of coffee before you leave, as they don’t open the restaurant until nine. I had trouble in the mornings with the program, being that I am an early riser. There is no coffee served until the 9 A.M. seating. When I go the next time I am bringing a small individual coffee maker! Anyhow, all the best I hope you have a wonderful experience. Feel free to contact me through email if you have any other questions.

  7. Pingback: Teaching English: Pueblo Inglés vs. Vaughan Town - ROOSTERGNN | ROOSTERGNN

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