Open Doors With Spanish

If you listen closely, Los Angeles is a city that makes a lot of noise!

When I moved back to LA after a year in Spain I was amazed when I realized a lot of the noise I had tuned out before my trip was the sound of people speaking in Spanish!

What LA noises do you notice?

There are more than 12 million people in Los Angeles, and nearly 4.5 million of those people are Spanish speakers. That is a staggering 36% of the population!

The only city in the United States with a higher percentage of Spanish speakers than LA is Miami, which is commonly referred to as “the capital of South America.”

The ability to speak Spanish has helped me communicate with a lot of people that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, and has opened doors in my social life as well as in the work place.

Speaking Spanish has also sparked my interest in travel, as Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world, next to Mandarin.   Spanish is spoken all over the world – in 31 countries with 427 million Spanish speakers worldwide.


English is the third most common language in the world, with over 370 million native speakers. So with the addition of conversational Spanish your ability to interact with people nearly doubles and that you would speak two of the three most popular languages in the world!

And that’s not all. Spanish is very similar to Portuguese, French, and Italian. Portuguese is the 6th most common language in the world, French is 18th, and Italian is 23rd.

It is true that learning multiple languages takes a high level of commitment, but by starting early with Spanish it is exponentially easier to learn the others!

So what does all of this mean? That learning Spanish can and will make your world larger – literally and figuratively – in both Los Angeles and abroad.


The Power of Non-Verbal Communication in Language Acquisition

Learning a new language can be a difficult and daunting process for parents and children alike.

If my child speaks little to no Spanish, for example, how can I expect them to learn in an immersion environment?

Parents may imagine their child confused and hopelessly lost.

However, thanks to UCLA Psychology Professor and researcher Albert Mehrabian, it is now known that communication is only 7% verbal. It sounds crazy, but that means that a whopping 93% of communication is non-verbal!

Non-verbal techniques match meaning
Non-verbal techniques make learning Spanish easy and fun

Out of the 93% of non verbal communication, 55% of that is made up of body language, and 38% is tone of voice.

What does that mean for learning a second language? That it really isn’t as difficult to understand as you may think.

As long as the speaker is able to match their tone of voice and body language to what they are saying (Kallpachay teachers do this skillfully), children have no problem understanding the message and responding positively.

Kallpachay takes this a step further and teaches Spanish through fun activities including sports, music, arts and crafts, dance, and cooking too.

Introducing a Valentines Day  art project
Introducing a Valentines Day art project

That means students are allowed the comfort that comes with doing activities they already understand and enjoy, paired with the Spanish Language. It also puts the emphasis on fun, where language learning is something that happens naturally.

By starting at a place of comfort students realize that Spanish language acquisition is somewhat of a game in itself!

In a similar fashion, Spanish uses nearly the exact same alphabet as English, and many of the words are similar to their English counterpart.

Recognizing how intuitive humans are, and especially children, it starts to become clear that understanding Spanish is not as challenging as you might have imagined it to be!

Communication model by Albert Mehrabian

Kallpachay: Connecting Past and Present

Kallpachay is a word that comes from the ancient Incan language, Quechua. Its meaning is TO INSPIRE and is the standard we hold ourselves to.


Although Quechuan is still spoken today in the Andes in South America, It is best known as being the language of the Ancient Inca Empire, which was the largest empire in Pre-columbian America.

The Incan Empire stretched from Peru to parts of present day Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia.


The Inca are best known for being great builders and architects. They had precise agricultural and roadway systems, as well as centralized religion and language.

Many of the structures, roads and temples built by the Incas in the 15th Century still stand today. The most famous is the lost city of Machu Picchu in Peru, which was built by Inca architects and is one of the New Seven Wonders of The World.

Machu Picchu (Peru)

Those who have visited Machu Picchu know just how inspirational it can be. Located 8,920 feet above sea level, on the peak of a mountain, it’s still a mystery how these rocks were carried up and placed so perfectly. Although the arrival of the Spanish ended the Inca Empire in 1572 it wasn’t until 1911 that the “lost city” was found by outsiders.

In a similar fashion, we hope that our Kallpachay Summer Camp can inspire children to discover another world that they may not have considered beforehand.

Through adventure – whether its’s arts and crafts, sports, music, cooking, and culture, we introduce the Spanish language to children in a way they truly enjoy!



If interested in reading more details about the influences and history of Quetcha people and their language from long ago to the present here is a blog which covers a range of interesting facts.