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“If You Want to Live in Panama, You Should Learn Spanish” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Buena Vida Language School

Buena Vida Language School
Calle Estudiante, Pedasi 0749, Panama
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Ranked #2 of 7 Attractions in Pedasi
Type: Classes/Workshops, Classes
Attraction details
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“If You Want to Live in Panama, You Should Learn Spanish”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

Buena Vida is located in the heart of Pedasi, Los Santos, Panama and is an easy walk or bike ride from anywhere in town. My husband and I moved to Pedasi over a year ago and a few months into our adventure decided that it was time to “bite the bullet” and learn proper Spanish rather than trying to get by with our “muddle through Spanglish".

We’ve enjoyed our lessons immensely, well; as much as a couple of fifty something people can without our brains exploding. Truly, we have been so fortunate to have amazingly patient teachers during our time with Buena Vida. I also can’t say enough about the high level of instruction and encouragement that we have received. The environment is relaxed, casual and fun but doesn’t take away from the importance of the lessons. When I look back at where we started and where we are now it is amazing.

We will continue with our lessons because we find we are getting fantastic value for our dollars spent and as retirees that means a great deal. Thank you Ingrid and Dania for tailoring our classes to our needs; through you we have learned not only how not to embarrass ourselves when asking for chicken breasts and how to conjugate a verb; but so much about our new home, its traditions and its people.

I may be a little biased but Buena Vida is located in one of the prettiest little folkloric towns in Panama. Come for the beaches, the surf, the fishing and the sun and spend some time at Buena Vida learning more than how to ask for another cerveza. You won't regret it.

Visited July 2013
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22 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Pedasi, Panama
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“A great learning experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

I am relearning Spanish all over again, this is a perfect environment to do so! Not only do you learn Spanish, but the way Panamanians pronounce the Spanish language! There is a little difference. Dania is wonderful! Not only to learn from, but also to learn about the Panamanian people. I highly recommend you visit and learn from Buena Vida. It completes your experience in Panama!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashford, Alabama
1 review
“I love this school!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

Hola! I have been taking classes at Buena Vida Language School for a few months. Not only has my Spanish improved tremendously, but also my friendships with the other people in my class. I love my teacher, Dania. She is very patient, explains things thoroughly, and goes out of her way to find answers to my questions. I recommend anyone traveling through the Pedasi area of Panama to stop by and try it out. Muchas Gracias Buena Vida!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Good for beginning spanish speakers, not so much for intermediate”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

I spent two weeks learning Spanish in Bocas Del Toro (at Habla Ya), and I then came to Pedasi and spent 1 week learning at Buena Vida. The atmosphere at Buena Vida is very relaxed and easy-going, and all of the employees are great people. Overall, I was somewhat satisfied with the level of progress I made at Buena Vida.

I recommend that you call them early because the receptionist might not be able to call you back for several days. I called Friday at noon, and my phone call was returned Sunday afternoon, making planning difficult. Other than that, the receptionist was helpful in planning short stay in Pedasi.

My instructor spoke very slowly and clearly, and she repeated words and phrases frequently whether I asked her to or not. If you need this, you'll do well with this program. It was frustrating for me because she wasn't able to accelerate her speaking pace after I asked her to twice, and I disliked that she assumed that I didn't know a lot of words and phrases that I already knew.

The materials you use for practice are just printed pieces of paper. Since we used notebooks at the Habla Ya School, so I felt that this was comparatively less convenient for going back and studying later. If you bring your own notebook and take notes, it helps.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ingrid S, Owner at Buena Vida Language School, responded to this review, July 2, 2013

First and foremost, thanks for the great feedback! We rely on this to improve our students' experience at Buena Vida.

I'm sorry to hear that you felt we didn't get back to you in a timely manner. When we returned your call, there was no answer so we did send you an email. Because over the weekend you were traveling by bus from Bocas to Pedasi, we played a fun game of phone tag :). Also, we are closed on the weekends so that may have had some part in the delay.

Your teacher Dania told me that she truly enjoyed having you as a student. Dania, even with local Panamanians, always speaks very slowly and clearly. That's why she's one of our greatest teachers! Her speaking characteristics are in no way a reflection of her opinion of your Spanish skills or abilities.

We have both notebooks and individual lessons plans available to our students. Because we designed your program especially for you, we used individual lesson handouts that we thought would be the most beneficial to your improvement. We do offer a book binding service so that students can keep all their materials together. And we definitely agree, having a notebook for note taking always helps!

Again, thank you for your feedback and most of all, thanks for studying with us. We truly enjoyed having you at the school!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vermillion, South Dakota
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Amazing Instruction!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012 via mobile

After studying in two other language schools in Central America, I have to emphatically state what a fabulous learning experience I had at Buena Vida!!! After the placement test, the teachers had a clear syllabus with objectives, including my goals! We did field trips, experiential activities and worked together every minute of our time together. The teachers were professional, hard working, congenial and sincerely interested in me learning the language. Thank you for an amazing experience! I will be back! For sure!

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