Anyone who has lived outside of their hometown – or their home country – will know that, besides being an incredible experience, sometimes it can be a little lonely at first.

During the year I lived abroad, the activities that kept me connected, with a chance to meet people, were the language exchange meetings that took place in the city. At those meetings, people from different parts of the world gathered in one place, and everyone tried to put into practice the language they wanted to enhance. By the end of every evening we talked about almost everything, and kept each other company.

That’s why I want to share with you some information that may be useful, if what you want is to speak to people in a foreign language. Whether you come from another country and want to meet people and learn Spanish during your stay in Mérida, or if you are a local and want to practice a foreign language with native speakers, these conversational get-togethers will be useful for you to learn more about a language, and make new friends!

Merida English Library Conversaciones con AmigosMérida English Library

For 10 years, a conversation club has taken place every Monday at Mérida English Library, where English and Spanish are the languages that are practiced. From 7 pm until a little before 9 pm the library patio fills up, with the bustle of endless conversations. People from all over the world meet in this cultural space to discuss a great variety of topics in the two specific languages (English & Spanish). Although the event is free of charge, the library accepts voluntary donations, to contribute to their overhead (electricity, for example).

Calle 53 #524 between 66 and 68, Centro
Tel. (999) 924 8401
FB: Mérida English Library

Le Carre intercambio de idiomasLe Carré Bar & Restaurant Belge (Centro)

In this Belgian bar, every Monday you can find conversation gatherings where practicing the language of your choice is possible. At 8 pm sharp you can register for the event; they will assign you a table depending on the language you want to practice and then you can start enjoying the company of others, while you enjoy snacks on the house. This event at Le Carré has no fixed time to finish, so you can talk as long as you want. Started in November of last year (2018), the languages that are mostly practiced are: English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian. However, any other language is accepted. This is a free entry event and is promoted by language schools such as Interlingua, Alianza Francesa de Mérida, Instituto Kresse, and Tutto Italiano.

Calle 60 #457 by 51, Centro
Tel. (999) 921 1361
FB: Le Carré: Bar & Restaurant Belge

Instituto Asiático Peninsular intercambio de idiomasInstituto Asiático Peninsular

At the Instituto Asiático Peninsular, every Friday there are two schedules to practice the Japanese language. From 4:30 to 6 pm or from 5:30 to 7 pm, the students of this school can enjoy a pleasant time among friends, to chat in Spanish and Japanese. They are thinking of adding languages ​​such as Chinese and Korean to this conversation club. In addition to the language exchange, for students there are other activities that bring them closer to the Asian culture; like the tea ceremony, calligraphy courses, and Asian cooking classes. With the teaching of these ancient cultures, the Instituto Asiático Peninsular offers us the opportunity to embrace their customs and traditions.

Calle 21 #144 between Prolongación Montejo and 32, Fracc. Buenavista
Tel. (999) 943 4551
FB: Instituto Asiático Peninsular A.C.

Casa Movimiento Raks

In this cultural space located in Ciudad Caucel, every Friday you can practice your English language skills. Here, they do dynamic activities like reading and writing, comprehension (videos), conversation, and more. All the activities require enthusiasm and participation. You must bring a notebook, pen, and some mobile device in case you need a dictionary. With a cost of $250 pesos per month, every Friday evening from 7:30 pm to 8:45 pm you can be part of this enjoyable, productive activity. Enjoy this cultural space while you meet new people and improve your level of English.

Calle 62-A #813 between 73 and 75, La Herradura 3, Ciudad Caucel
Tel. (999) 119 2689
FB: Casa Movimiento Raks


Editorial by Claudia Améndola
Photography by Claudia Améndola for use in Yucatán Today


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