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Staff 2017: pictured – Dimetri Duckery,  Kata de Lima, Camila Morales, Daniel Chavez, Albert Zhu, (also thanks to Susana Benites and Alexis Schleien  and French staff Adriana Lorenzini and Quentin Sieredski with Tante Suzanne)



Awesome staff from 2015-16!  Daniel Chavez,  Kata de Lima, Mariana Gonzalez, Malissa McSwain,  Camila Portocarrero,   Gracias!


Katarina de Lima –   Senior Counselor, program coordinator   “Kata”  is a  women’s studies major at Salem College in NC. She is  a movie fanatic who enjoys spending time with friends and her dogs. 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.  She is the “chain in our bicycle, the grout in our mosaic,” that helps make everything run smoothly!



Camila Portocarrero Senior Counselor  is an elementary education 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 5 years now. She has been a vital part of Immersion Island for five summers!


Daniel Chavez – Counselor / Games coordinator – is a junior at NCCU after just graduating high school through the early college program, majoring in Psychology and Biology.  He is originally from El Salvador.  He has been helping to make our summer camps fun for four summers!




Susana Benites – Counselor / teacher is a first grade teacher in a bilingual program in Durham, NC.  She is from Peru and brings to life our “peques” (little kids) groups each summer




Dimetri Duckery – Senior Counselor – is a Spanish teacher with Teach for America  in Charlotte, NC.  He is originally from NJ, studied at Rutgers University and did a Fulbright year in Brazil.    He loves all things language and travel and is a great cook!   He speaks Spanish and Portuguese and is quickly learning French and Mandarin! He was a wonderful addition to Immersion Island starting summer 2017!




Suzanne Ryan — aka “Tante Suzanne”–  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.

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 has a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from UNCG.

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

Harmony Pringle                        Denise Blanco Durán               Alejandro Robledo Lozano 












Devon Rohe                             Kasia Jarmolowicz                    Luis Alejandro Royo