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Just some of the awesome staff from recent years!    Daniel Chavez,  Kata de Lima, Mariana Gonzalez, Malissa McSwain,  Camila Portocarrero,  2015-16 Gracias!












Denise Blanco Durán- Senior Counselor  I’m from  a city named Cartagena that is on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.  It is an interesting city that carries a lot of history about the Spanish colonization in South America.  It has beautiful architecture and you can see gorgeous sunsets over the ocean from the historic city walls.  I have been living in the area (and in the USA) for three years.  During this time I have mainly been taking care of my three year old son.  Before moving here I worked as a professor in humanities,  mostly with adolescents and I loved it!  I am very excited to be part of this learning and playing experience that the summer camp offers.  And I am very happy to share about the culture in my country and the beauty of the Spanish language.

Harmony Pringle – Senior Counselor has loved the Spanish language since her bilingual 5th grade teacher taught the class a few phrases. She continued her language study at Cedar Ridge High School where she served as president of their Spanish Honors Society. At Oberlin College, Harmony tutored Spanish 101, taught Spanish at the local elementary school, and had the pleasure of spending a semester each at the University of Seville in Spain and studying migration on the U.S./Mexico Border. She taught her first private language classes to two fantastic 9-year-olds this past spring. In May of 2011 Harmony graduated from Oberlin with a degree in Hispanic Studies.  She has been teaching in Soria Spain and is joining us for a third summer before she heads back again to teach in Spain.

suzanneSuzanne Ryan — French Camp Director My name is Madame Ryan. I was born in Ottawa, Canada and grew up speaking French. My   family moved to Rochester, N.Y. when I was 9½. I lived and taught there until the spring of 2004 when my husband started a business in Chapel Hill. We have 2 sons. The younger one graduated from Carolina, and is a software engineer in Durham. Our older son died in January, 2008. My undergraduate work in French and Education was done at the University of Miami. I earned my Master’s in French from Middlebury College which included a year in Paris at the Université de Nanterre (Paris X). Then I attended Nazareth College to earn a Master’s in Education. Since moving to North Carolina, I have received an ESL add-on licensure from NC State. I taught at Wakefield High School until I retired in 2012.


Katarina de Lima –   Counselor    “Kata”  is a student at Salem College in NC and a movie fanatic who enjoys spending time with friends.  She lived in Guadalajara,  Mexico from the age of two until she was nine years old.  She speaks Spanish and Portuguese and is learning German.  After taking a gap year she is a freshman at UNC Greensboro as a Women and Gender studies major.



Camila Portocarrero Counselor  is a student at NC State University. She loves hanging out with her friends and is a huge fan of taking road trips with her family. She came to the U.S. with her family when she was 12 years old from Lima, Peru. She enjoys learning new things everyday especially different languages. She is a flamenco dancer and has been practicing it for about 3 years now.


Aerin Benavides, aka “Tia Ana”  is our consultant and was our fantastic cook and consultant during summer ’11.  Aerin’s late husband was from Perú and she  lived there off and on for many years.  She is fluent in both Spanish and French and loves to share  her knowledge of science and the outdoors with  students.  She took her own children on a trip around the world in 2002.  Aerin is in the PhD program in Curriculum and Instruction at UNCG  and will continue to come visit us when she can!

Here are just a few of the other wonderful staff who have joined us for the Spanish Camps in the past!

Alejandro Robledo Lozano — is a  university student. He was born in Bogotá, Colombia. He came to North Carolina  with his family.  In Colombia,  he had a bilingual education at the international school,  Anglo Colombiano.  He was a good student- athlete and  was also  involved in community activities.  After graduating,  Alejandro studied industrial design for two semesters at La Pontificia Universidad Javeriana en Bogotá, Colombia.  In August, Alejandro will study automobile design  in Detroit, Michigan.

Devon Rohe –  I am currently a student at Guilford College studying political science and economics, and tutoring Spanish on the side. I began studying Spanish with 4 years of classes at Chapel Hill High School, and decided to further my studies by volunteering abroad in Paraguay during the academic year of 2010-2011. My volunteer work in Paraguay included teaching physical education, swimming, and English to a wide range of youth and adults, as well as information technology to the hearing impaired. My hobbies include swimming, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, and playing drums. My career goals include working as a translator and later in diplomacy.

Kasia Jarmolowicz was raised in the Central Valley California and discovered her passion for Latin American culture through food and dance.  She studied Spanish for 5 years in middle school and high school and is a recently returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Bolivia 2007-2008, Ecuador 2008-2009, and the Galapagos Islands 2009-2010.  There she was immersed in Spanish, working and living in small agricultural communities.  She worked directly with farmers, women’s groups, and children, leading workshops on sustainable agriculture, cooking, baking, nutrition, teaching dance classes and running a school garden.

Luis Alejandro Royo is a graduate of Carrboro High School. He is originally from Bogotá , Colombia and has been in Chapel Hill since 2008 .  He enjoys spending time with friends and  loves playing soccer.  He plays for the Carrboro High Soccer  team as well as for the Clams, Ultimate Club of Carrboro High.   He’s also an artist and has been working on murals around Carrboro like the new one outside of the PTA Thrift shop and  murals at Carrboro High School.