Ben, professor from Murray State University

Te presentamos a Ben! Ben es un profesor de español de la universidad de Murray State, ubicada en Kentucky y que forma parte del consorcio de KIIS que tiene un programa de español en Mérida, Yucatán cada verano y cada semestre de otoño. Este verano Ben está en Mérida como parte del grupo de profesores que vienen a enseñar español. Los abuelos de Ben son inmigrantes de Holanda y tuvieron que aprender inglés para adaptarse, lo que le dio mucha perspectiva a su vida. Ben quiso ser maestro de español y aprender el idioma a la perfección ya que el español es un idioma que puede dar muchas oportunidades, además de que su meta personal era poder ayudar a gente como sus abuelos a poder acoplarse a un nuevo idioma pero con la lengua española. Ben no sólo estudió español sino una especialidad en teatro colonial en México, lo cual hizo que desde mucho antes fuese un apasionado de la cultura mexicana. Para Ben, México siempre ha sido muy notable, más que nada le impresiona cómo es la vida de la ciudad ya que es muy diferente a la de los Estados Unidos, los colores, la arquitectura y hasta la energía que hay es única y diferente, “desde los camiones hasta la música que va cantando la gente por la calle, fascinante” comenta Ben. Él es un hombre muy inteligente, con un nivel de español increíble, que le encanta lo que hace, “No soy mexicano, pero soy mexicanista y me encanta ser parte de un proyecto como éste”.

Cody, From Western Kentucky University

This is Cody, he studies at Western Kentucky University, an institution that is part of the KIIS summer program in Merida. We, at TSIKBAL love to work with KIIS, which stands for Kentucky Institute for International Studies and every summer sends a group of students to Merida to learn Spanish and culture.  Cody’s major is Spanish education at WKU. Cody decided to come to Mexico to immerse in the culture and learn more about the language, people, and most importantly, to be able to apply all the things he has learned into his future classes. He is a guy that not only loves history but the way he can relate most of the things he’s learned in class with Merida and the stories around it. One of Cody’s passions is taking pictures, “Merida and Mexico in general are perfect places to capture the beauty of people and nature”. Each day that goes by Cody feels a huge improvement with his Spanish and he couldn’t be happier about it.

Grace, from Berea College


Meet sweet and nice Grace!! She comes from Berea College, an institution that is part of the KIIS consortium, where she is majoring in agriculture and studies several other things, including Spanish. Grace has many plans for her future, one of them is helping people learn about agriculture and speaking to some of the farmers in their native language, which is Spanish. Grace is really interested in Spanish not only because of the beauty of the language, but also because her parents in law only speak Spanish and she believes is good for her relationship to speak fluently. So what better way of improving her language skills that immersing herself in the culture! Grace loves Merida because there’s always something going on, like music shows, theater and cultural events to know more about all the stories that are here to tell. Grace is in love with Mexico and says that the country has something really special that creates a great environment for everyone. As soon as the summer language program is over, Grace will do an internship in an ecological park called Parque Aak, which in Mayan Language means Turtle Park.

Kiki from Millsaps College

This is Kiki!! She comes from Millsaps College, a school located in Jackson, Mississippi. She is an ambitious girl, that decided to come to Mexico for 1 month to improve her Spanish, which she has in the past couple of weeks. She’s starting to feel more confident and comfortable with the culture as well. She lives in Mississippi with her mom and her little sister. Kiki is super close to her mom, they are like best friends. Kiki is doing this program for her and for her mom as well because she always wanted to go to college. At Millsaps Kiki studies Spanish as a major and when she heard she could have an opportunity to immerse herself in Spanish language and Mexican culture she had to take it. Kiki is about to finish her time in Mexico and she is so happy that the experience made her more diverse and more open minded about what’s different from back home.