In the El Sur study center at Willem Pastoorstraat 138 you can learn all about the Spanish language and culture. Even the building is completely decorated in Spanish style. El Sur has been open for a few months, but was only officially opened last Saturday.
El Sur gives Spanish courses for every level. Culture classes will also start shortly. Every week a Spanish region is treated and a dish from that region is cooked. Flamenco lessons for children are also planned. “We do everything as much as possible in Spanish style” says Torcuato Checa Romero from El Sur. “The teachers are from Spain and all the teaching material is also about that country.”
El Sur does not only provide courses, people can also walk in to read Spanish newspapers or magazines, for example. There are also cassettes of Spanish music and videos of Spanish television or films. “I also want to develop teaching materials for the computer so that students can practice here,” says Checa Romero. “I may also be selling Spanish books and CDs here.”
From time to time, theme meetings will be held at El Sur. “For example, we will organize debates in Spanish, for example, a lecture or a forum, it is quite serious, but it must also remain atmospheric and cozy.
Many Dutch people go to Spain for a few weeks in the summer to learn Spanish at a language institute. “We try to gather as much information as possible about these institutes.” says Checa Romero. “They can contact us for this information and we can help with a phone call or writing a letter.”
According to Checa Romero, many Dutch people are interested in the country of Spain and its language and culture. “Especially since Spain became a member of the European Community, that interest has increased enormously, Spain suddenly became economically interesting and many business people wanted to learn Spanish, and Spanish is a world language: you can also save almost all of Latin America. “
Before the EU’s accession, Spain was a dictatorship and completely closed to the outside world. “Once we got to Europe, many people suddenly discovered that Spain has a very interesting culture and rich history,” says Checa Romero. “The Spanish mentality also appeals to the people, we are known as happy and full of life, and we love parties, and” fiesta “is not a word that every foreigner understands.”
The name El Sur is not chosen by chance. “El Sur means the south, we stand for the southern way of life, and I also come from southern Spain, so it’s only logical that we are based in the south of Amsterdam, that’s what I wanted.”