Say ¡Hola! to Ana, a mom of three, who with her husband, Paco, has been welcoming students into her beautiful beachside home in the Pedregalejo neighborhood of Málaga Spain for the past 19 years!
We sat down for a café con leche with Ana at her home, and she couldn´t hide her enthusiasm when sharing her experiences as a host mom.
What made you decide to start hosting students?
I became a host mom when my youngest daughter, Marina, was born. I had young children at home, and I needed to stay home to take care of them. I wanted to find a job that would keep me busy while still being able to devote time to my kids, so I decided that hosting language immersion students would work well for me. Having international students in the home was also a great way to expose my kids to different cultures, so I knew I would not regret my decision.
What is the best thing about being a host mom?
I love always having somebody at home. Hosting is like a job but more fun, you get to know so many people from different backgrounds. I love learning about other languages and cultures from my young guests as they learn about mine.
How has your experience been hosting students?
I´ve been lucky to never have any issues with students, and I plan on hosting for as long as I can. This summer, one of my former host students came to visit me; she had stayed with me more than 15 years ago! I am excited about the students that will be visiting in the fall. My sisters, Paqui and María Victoria, also host students in the same neighborhood and have had great experiences as well.
What would you say to parents who are nervous about sending their child abroad?
I hope parents realize that we are just like any other family and that we will do the best we can for their child to feel comfortable in our household.
As a mother myself with a daughter who is currently abroad, I understand the concerns of many parents. I try to treat students the way I would want my child to be treated abroad. My husband and I want the students to have the best experience while they are living in Málaga with us, and we will do everything we can to make sure they are happy here. Students are welcome in my home whenever they want to visit!
See our immersion program in Málaga