This is the first Springfield Spanish, what is it and what are Springfield Spanish’s goals?
Springfield Spanish is a group of people who are learning or who speak Spanish already. This is where they can get together in a casual environment to practice their Spanish and meet new people with similar interests. My goal is really just to provide that fun environment for people to practice Spanish because I know with foreign languages if you don’t use it, your skills dull a lot. Hopefully through Springfield Spanish people can keep their skills sharp.
What caused you to begin this social group?
I used to live in Colorado and there was a group like this out there. They were called Fort Collins Spanish and they would meet every week. They just went to a coffee shop and spoke Spanish together for about an hour or so and I really loved going to that. I also used to teach Introductory Spanish at Missouri State University (MSU) and Ozark Technical Community College (OTC). However, I don’t use Spanish in my job anymore, so I wanted to find a place to keep my skills up. I just wanted to recreate what I experienced in Colorado and bring that cultural opportunity here to Springfield.
What made you decide to host the first Springfield Spanish at Tortilleria Perches?
I wanted to host it at Tortilleria Perches because firstly, they have awesome food! I love their tacos! I also knew that Tortilleria Perches’ owner, Maria, is involved with Group Latinoamericano. This place is well known in the community and I wanted to host it somewhere where I know people would want to come. They are an authentic Mexican restaurant and all around a great business. Tortilleria Perches has also said they interested to keep partnering with us which is amazing!
What do you think are some benefits of joining Springfield Spanish?
The number one benefit would be the ability to keep your Spanish skills sharp. Also, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t benefit from meeting people who are like-minded, like learning about other cultures, as well as indulging in really great Mexican food.
What do you hope to accomplish with Springfield Spanish by the end of 2019?
By the end of 2019, I hope that we will have a core group of regulars that come to every meeting. I also hope to spread the word about Springfield Spanish in the community and gather more interest. I’d like to get in touch with the universities more and invite foreign language students to join us. Hopefully, we can also have some of the people learning Spanish at Grupo Latinoamericano come practice their Spanish with us here at Springfield Spanish.
I think there are a lot of possibilities and I’d just like to see Springfield offer those cultural opportunities more. I feel like a lot of the time in Springfield, people think the only thing to do is go to the restaurant, but we are growing and we have a big Hispanic population. It is beneficial for everyone to get to know your neighbors better and speaking Spanish helps you to make those connections that you might otherwise have not made.