Pamela, Chile



“When I was in my early twenties and studying, a friend and I ran a hostel in San Pedro de Atacama, a village in northern Chile. Tourists from all over the world came to enjoy our beautiful landscape at an altitude of 2,500 meters. The ambience was always good. We lit a campfire every day, people made music and stories were told. It was an amazing period in my life.”


“One day a young Dutch tourist walked into our hostel. I thought he was so handsome! He had blond hair, big blue eyes and he was at least a head taller than I am. I was immediately head over heels. Shortly after, I dropped everything and suddenly found myself living in Noordwijk,” she laughs.


Pamela happily looks back at this move in 2007. “We got married quickly, but I didn't speak Dutch or English. While waiting for my papers, I started volunteering at an elementary school. I helped during class, gave dance lessons, and learned my first words of Dutch. That is where I found my true calling, which is teaching.”


“My divorce eight years ago made me realize that I had to stand on my own feet. I had been too dependent on my ex-partner to build a life here in the Netherlands. I had to improve my Dutch and build something on my own to continue a life in the Netherlands with our two children. And I have succeeded," she beams. “Nowadays, I manage my very own Spanish language school.”


“I think learning should be fun. I use a lot of songs and dances to teach our students Spanish. People often say: I'm not going to sing or dance! Two classes later they are swinging along. They also bring snacks to class. In this way we learn playfully, something that makes me very happy.”


Pamela radiates positive energy. She also sings during the interview. It's a self-written rap to learn the numbers. “My next step is to create a school where you can learn both Spanish and gastronomy. Because nowadays we eat less healthy. Many children cannot cook for themselves. What could be more fun than learning about the Spanish language and also get to know what people eat in Bolivia, Argentina or Spain?”


“My work gives me a lot of energy. There is simply nothing more beautiful than teaching someone another language. Also, I am newly in love again. La vida es un sol!”