Emily and Teo Valdés started Language South. (Photo: Contributed)

A new summer camp gives students an opportunity to spend a week learning Spanish during a fun, overnight experience.

El Pueblo Spanish Camp is the flagship program of Language South. 

It will take place June 10-16 at Booker T. Washington State Park. The camp is open to current 4th through 9th graders (and rising 5th through 10th graders).


Registration is open now and tuition assistance is available through a partnership with J.A. Henry YMCA.

The camp will be run by Language South founders, Emily and Teo Valdés. The couple met while working at the Concordia Language Villages’ Spanish immersion camp in Minnesota for five summers.

According to a release, they witnessed how young people engaged with Spanish in a unique and powerful way that went beyond what is possible in the classroom. They hope to offer a similar environment for campers during El Pueblo Spanish Camp.

El Pueblo Spanish Camp will be like a traditional camp with one twist: staff members will only speak in Spanish throughout the week, adding cultural touches to the daily activities and events. All staff will understand English and no campers will be forced to speak Spanish if they aren’t ready.

“Language immersion camp allows campers to experience success with a new language in a supportive and fun environment,” said Teo Valdés. “We believe there’s no better place to start or continue your language learning journey.”

Valdés said campers shouldn’t be nervous about being immersed in the language.

“All of our staff are trained in making themselves comprehensible,” he said. “They’ll use gestures, images, and facial expression to help them communicate with campers even though they’re committed to speaking only Spanish themselves.”

At the Camp

El Pueblo Spanish Camp will offer campers a variety of activities throughout the week.

According to the release, campers will join new friends to play sports, do arts and crafts, eat delicious food in the comedor (dining hall), swim in the pool and sing around the campfire. Campers will relax during a daily siesta (rest period), enjoy a theatrical production performed with camp counselors, and enjoy evening chats in the casa (cabins).

“I went to a Spanish immersion camp as a young teen,” said Emily Valdés. “Spanish camp was a place where I grew up as a person and also fell in love with the joy of communicating in another language and connecting with other cultures. I can’t wait to give young people in our community that opportunity this summer.”

More information is here. 

The tuition for El Pueblo Spanish Camp is $995 per camper. This includes all food, lodging, and activities from Sunday afternoon to Saturday morning.