Escuela Amistad

Language Learning Through Friendship  

We have classes for all levels available 

Online Summer Spanish Class - 10 week course for beginners starts August 30th!



  • August 30th - Nov 3rd  Tues/Thurs 1-2p 
  • 1st half of course interactive fun activities to learn the basics of communications
  • 2nd half Tuesdays virtual group conversations with native speakers on the ground in Tijuana Thursday review and prep with professor.
  • FIVE 1-on-1 30 min "Charlamigo" sessions on YOUR time with partners in Tijuana. 
  • Total cost only $250!
  • Must have ten students to fill the course
  • Bring a friend and learn together!  
  • Learn language through friendship and make friends by learning languages!  
Next 10 week Intermediate Experience starts
August 30th!


Professors Rebeca Padilla and Dan Watman bring decades of professional language teaching experience and intimate personal knowledge of communities at the border.

In this course you will:

  • Make friends across borders!
  • Go on virtual site visits to communities in Tijuana!
  • Learn useful phrases for getting to know people across cultural barriers!
  • Get what you want out of learning and have fun!
  • Free eval and preview of course!

Some basic knowledge of Spanish required


Week 1-2

  • Tues/Wed/Thurs 12-1p
  • Free evaluation
  • Explanation of Course
  • Basic and advanced conversation practice

Week 3 - 10

  • Tuesday 12-1 virtual site visit for high beginner/intermediate level
  • Wednesday 12-1p class review/fun and practice of phrases on Zoom - Divided groups by level
  • Thurs 12-1p virtual site visit for Intermediate/advanced level
  • Bonus offerings starting week 3
    • 8 30 min one on one "Charlamigo" sessions - converse with a native Spanish speaker in Tijuana.  Like a virtual penpal.  Acommodated to your schedule
    • 1 language exchange with English language class in Tijuana - time/date TBD

About this Course

Our unique method of language learning is based on the simple idea of getting to know people across cultural and language barriers.  We have ten week experiences with live virtual visits to communities, small businesses, artists, activists, and other interesting people in Tijuana coupled with conversation classes and one on one "Charlamigo" sessions where you can converse with native speakers in Tijuana (like a virtual pen pal).  Intermediate/advanced students can sign up for Charlamigo sessions individually or anyone with some level of Spanish can sign up for a ten week course whic includes a free level evaluation, the virtual site visits, charlamigo sessions, and more!  Questions?  Live chat with us (M-F, 8 - 11 am) or email us at



“CHARLAMIGOS” - Language Partners 


"Charlamigos" are one-on-one language learning partners based in Tijuana, Mexico.  In Spanish, “charlar” means “to chat” and “amigos” means friends so a “Charlamigo” is like a “penpal” except you actually get to chat and become friends! As you and your new Spanish-speaking friend become “charlamigos,” you get to practice your Spanish through informal conversation and you both get to learn a new perspective on life by making friends with someone from a different culture. Your subscription to the Charlamigo service helps support working people in Tijuana. Choose someone from our roster of “Charlamigos” and our Coordinators will introduce you to them so you can arrange an initial, 30-minute conversation one-on-one. You can then sign up for more 30-minute sessions, or ask to be introduced to another “Charlamigo.”



Director / Instructor : DANIEL WATMAN

Dan Watman has worked as a Spanish instructor for over 20 years. A longtime resident of Tijuana, Mexico, Dan sees the purpose of language instruction as helping students establish meaningful friendships with native speakers.


Instructor / Coordinator: ROBERT VIVAR

Robert Vivar was deported to Mexico in 2013 after living in the USA since the age of six. Since his deportation he has dedicated his life to helping others in need, such as deported U.S. military veterans, deported mothers of U.S. citizen children, and separated families.




“This is good for people who have some language training. It's fun, you get to meet new friends, and it's for a good cause too!”

“Great facilitator, evidence-based approach to learning the language in a contextualized way. The most relevant course I've found.”

“This is an excellent course for someone who has some background in Spanish who wants to now put the language to use! The approach is immersive and the emphasis is on the spoken language. The class is engaging and interactive. I highly recommend it.”

“Centering on the common language used when we meet Mexican people at the border was especially meaningful to me. The repetitive nature of common phrases and encouragement of the teacher, all in Spanish, is the most effective way I've seen to improve on Spanish speaking.”

"The classes at the Escuela Amistad have an appropriate and effective learning strategy for adult learners. The dialogues acquaint people with the social justice activities of Via International on the USA border with Mexico. Students learn to relax their expectations to become fluent in a short period and to have a perfect accent, and heighten their expectations to have fun making new friends and learning about another culture made possible with a basic foundation in Spanish."

"The instructor is a master teacher of Spanish, es verdad . Their skill at sensing out the learning needs and energy of individuals as well as the entire class was exceptional. His timing about correction and suggestion was terrific. The size of the class (about ten) gave everyone good opportunity to practice. The Zoom class enabled us to get to know people from all over the country as well as Mexico. The Zoom format was never a barrier to learning, but made it possible to be in the class without travel time. Working people were able to join at the end of their work day. The intermediate class is an excellent one for people who have some Spanish or want to upgrade their skills. For people who are not living in the San Diego area, the class gains an energy and immediacy from being taught by someone who lives on the border/la frontera."

"This class was a friendly reentry into studying Spanish again after 18 years. It is fun to practice together and improve our skills. I loved all of the amig@s that joined our class who we could ask questions to. That was a great way to practice our comprehension, with a friendly face! Thank you Daniel for making learning accessible!"
"Go for it! I loved being able to converse with our profesora, and with other students in a relaxed and comfortable setting. Thank you!!"
"This class is very relevant to life on the border. You'll learn a lot about what's happening in Tijuana, and an improvement in Spanish is guaranteed. The opportunity for new friendships across the border is also very present. A deeper understanding of the border and an improvement in Spanish go hand in hand in this class!"