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Learning Spanish


In my opinion, if you’re going to live in México you should be somewhat proficient in Spanish.  But learning Spanish can prove to be a daunting experience.  Some people learn by chatting with people as they go about their business.  Others learn by taking classes that focus on group discussions.  While still others use CD-based learning tools like Rosetta Stone and Fluenz.

Then there’s me.  I might be a tad AR because I need to know the why’s of a language.  Things like which “to be” verb, ser or estar do I use in a certain circumstance?  Which congregation of ayudar do I use for yo, tú, él, nosotros and ellos?  What is the gerund form of ayudar?  Does the adjective come before or after the noun?  If these are the things that you want to know then I highly recommend taking classes at UNAM.

WorkbookUNAM stands for National Autonomous University of Mexico. It is generally acknowledged to have the largest enrollment among universities in the Americas.  UNAM has an extension here in Mérida and they offer Spanish classes Básico 1, 2, 3, 4 and Intermedio classes as well.  For a 75 class hour course the cost is $2,420 pesos.  Essentially 4 months of twice-a-week, 2 hour-a-day class sessions for $200 USD – An outstanding value.  The workbook, which contains a CD with lessons, costs $400 pesos.  At the end of the semester your workbook will be well-used.

Lorena LopezThe maestra is Lorena Lopez.  She is a soft spoken, sweet lady with patience beyond belief.  She will explain a concept many different ways and explain it until you get it.  Like most Méxicanos in Mérida, Lorena has a good grasp of English, however the classes are taught entirely in Spanish.  For those new to Spanish the first few classes can make your head swim, but Spanish-only is the fastest way to learn.



Class BuildingNext semester’s classes will be taught in UNAM’s building at Calle 61 y Calle 54, just three blocks east of the city’s cathedral.  Following is the class schedule for next semester:

– Básico 1: martes y jueves, de 9 a 11

– Básico 2: martes de 13.30 a 15.30 y viernes de 9 a 11

– Básico 3: martes y miércoles, de 11.15 a 13.15

– Básico 4: lunes y jueves, de 11.15 a 13.15 

– Intermedio 2: lunes y miércoles, de 9 a 11

– Intermedio 3: miércoles de 13.30 a 15.30 y viernes de 11.15 a 13.15

RegistrationUNAM Admin 






To register for classes you need to go to UNAM’s administration building.  The complex is called the Ex Sanatorio Rendón Peniche and is located on Calle 43 between Calle 44 y 46, Col. Industrial.  Once you go through the front door, go to the right and to the building at the back. Their number is (999) 922.8446 al 48.  Registration is open January 10th to the 14th, 9-2 and 5-7 hours.  Classes start the week of January 17th.  The first time you register and the first semester of each year you need to take a passport photo for your student ID card.  The card is good for discounts wherever INAPAM discounts are offered.  So if you don’t have your INAPAM card yet, your student ID will get you a discount on tickets to the symphony.

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