On October 10, 1998 Pati and Amara opened the doors of Versión Original, by giving life to a “full of hope” project: a Spanish school for foreigners. That day the School was overflowing. More than 100 people wanted to be present at the new birth, supporting our project and sharing our dream. That day we prepared a wish box in which you could leave a written wish and dedicate it to Versión Original.
20 years later I would like to thank you again, all the friends present that day, for your support and your love. We can surely say that all those wishes have been fulfilled. Thank you all for sharing that moment with me.
On October 13, Versión Original was officially opened. No student had enrolled. We spent a few days working hard before the first student arrived: Michaela. We started a course just with her! Then students started enrolling and we began to form bigger groups of 3 or 4 people. At the end, our schedule got full: we had classes from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. The working day was 15 hours long!
When we decided to hire more teachers, Raquel joined us and replaced Pati. Versión Original was growing up fast and we needed reinforcements: Sonia and Cris began to collaborate with us. When the School was 10 years old, we received a “transfusion” of vitality thanks to the incorporation of Francis and Cris to the team. Now Versión Original had 4 fundamental pillars on which to lean to keep growing.
In 20 years we have done almost everything: in addition to teaching Spanish, we have made parties of all kinds (home parties and school parties), gastronomic meetings, excursions, cousine classes (to learn how to prepare a good Spanish tortilla or a fantastic sangría). Finally, we have been able to show to our students that uvas con queso saben a beso (literally: grapes with cheese taste like kisses, meaning that grapes and cheese are a very good tastefull match).
We have been kayaking, we have played volleyball on the beach, we have visited the mythical tapas bars in Barcelona, we have played table football and we have done class in the park … We have visited our students in their countries (some as far away as Japan) and we have attended weddings and births of their children.
Versión Original is a great family and our students can feel it. A great family in which we have lived happy moments and sad moments: we have laughed and we have cried together. The family has become great: after 20 years we are more than 4000 members and our team is composed by enthusiastic teachers that enjoy teaching Spanish. It is a team of high human and professional quality. Versión Original is more than a Spanish school, it’s clear.
It’s been 20 years and we didn’t even notice it, as the Gardel’s song says: 20 años no es nada (literally: 20 years is nothing).