Kallpachay has, from its inception, been nothing short of a labor of love. My goal in starting this company was to provide children with enriching Spanish education experiences and honor their enthusiasm for life and learning. Children, I felt, deserve to learn Spanish with dynamic teachers and engaging lessons.
We've had the distinct privilege to experience the fruits of our labor when visiting our classes and seeing our students bubbling with excitement. I, too, am filled with excitement when I witness their success; when they recall Spanish vocabulary as they play games, when they help each other learn, when they are creative, sing songs, and apply themselves to the learning process. It's clearer now more than ever before that our students are part of a new wave of cultural appreciation and heritage.
Our families represent the mosaic of cultures that is the heartbeat of our community, and it is thanks to these families that our company has been able to expand and grow to serve the world community online. I am grateful for their enthusiasm, encouragement, and commitment; it fuels my passion for this work and serves as the inspiration for the Kallpachay family to continue to develop projects aimed at providing families and administrators with quality, progressive, arts-based, 100% Spanish immersion resources. To that end, we continue to strive to live up to Kallpachay's Quechua name: to persevere and inspire!
The idea behind Kallpachay took root in the early 2010s when its founder and director, Miriam Epstein, observed the ease with which her group of preschool-age students were learning Spanish in an immersion setting. Her Waldorf training emphasized the importance of an arts-based approach to primary-language education as well as the idea that children learn best through play and context-rich settings, and seeing this process unfold with a second language made it clear to her that the current model of second-language education was in need of an overhaul. Her initial plan to contribute to this needed change was to start a Spanish immersion summer camp where an ideal synthesis of play and language learning could be realized.
In April of 2012, Kallpachay’s first camp banner went up along La Brea Avenue in the heart of Hollywood, and the first summer camp began a few weeks later with twenty children in a home setting.
During the 2019-20 school year, Kallpachay programs educated more than 800 students ages 4-17, in 30+ locations throughout the greater Los Angeles area. This success saw the fulfillment of two key goals for our company: we implemented our comprehensive program management service in fully replacing a private school’s Spanish department using our immersion approach, and we launched a full-year program of daily Spanish after school for public schools.
In March of 2020, the world stopped due to COVID-19 forcing Kallpachay like many small businesses to pivot and offer its services online. We launched our first online Summer Camp with over 80 students in a span of 6 weeks. COVID-19 has helped us innovate and provide our Spanish program to students everywhere using the online format.
To help children advance as Spanish-language learners by interweaving playful exploration and cultural celebration throughout finely-crafted, innovative curriculum.
Mrs. Cristina Rubio-Hignett has been studying and teaching in the field of second language acquisition education with a focus on linguistic analysis for the past fifteen years. She has a double B.A. in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics (University of Pittsburgh), a Master's in Applied Linguistics to Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language (Universidad de Jaén, Spain), and is currently finishing her last year of coursework to complete a Master's in the Stylistic and Grammatical Analysis of Spanish (UNED, Spain).
Mrs. Rubio Hignett has authored and co-authored textbooks, workbooks, teachers' manuals and supplemental material packets for language programs in Spain and the US. She has also collaborated on research projects that increased opportunities for educational exchanges between Spanish and US students (presented at ACTFL conference, 2015) and continues to facilitate exchanges for both educators and students.
Mrs. Rubio-Hignett joined Kallpachay as the Curriculum Director when she relocated from Spain to Los Angeles in 2015. Upon recognizing her expertise in and commitment to Spanish language education program development she was invited to become Director of Spanish Education for Kallpachay. Mrs. Rubio-Hignett teaches, writes all curriculum units, trains and mentors teachers, conducts consultations, and coordinates international exchanges. Her love of the Spanish language and culture has been the recipe for creating the fun and exciting curriculum that our students love!
Director of Spanish Education
CHRISTINA RUBIO-HIGNETT, MA
To raise the bar for what is achievable in Spanish-language education by making it affordable and easily accessible for children to begin in their early years. Together with administrators, teachers, community leaders, businesses, and parents we will have a lasting and far-reaching impact in Spanish immersion education.
stages of acquisition
In this first stage, children are able to identify the words they know from longer, more complex sentences, allowing them to decipher the meaning of new vocabulary.
Children actively participate in group activities that require using Spanish. Children work more with the vocabulary and begin to create simple sentences.
At this stage, children notice progress in their ability to understand and interact in Spanish and they feel encouraged, allowing them to relax into the process and learn new vocabulary at an expedited rate.
Internalization of grammatical structures, spelling, and sounds mark this stage. Children build toward independent expression through the writing of thoughts and ideas.
Finally, from prompted to unprompted conversation, children build toward fluency as a result of their desire to communicate.
Our goal is to inspire our students' love for the Spanish language. We recognize the importance of Spanish and we continue to advance our mission through our perseverance.
We seek to maximize the potential of each child, each team member, and each program with the goal of advancement in the Spanish language.
We pride ourselves in providing quality Spanish language education and excellent customer service.
Parents can't say enough about how effective Kallpachay immersion sessions are for their children! Here are some testimonials from our flock:
I asked Roma how her day was, and she said, "The best ever!"
What happened I asked?
"We made volcanos in Spanish class!"
Thank you so much for your program. I am so grateful that you have such lovely instructors and teach them such a joy for language through playing.
My son Augustin (now 6) has been a Kallpachay student and camper since he was 3 years old. He has done summer camp at the Pasadena campus 3 years in a row and he loves it! Every year he gets excited about all the fun projects they get to do while in camp. He loves learning about the various Spanish speaking cultures and whenever he sees a flag of say Mexico or Argentina he proceeds to tell me everything he knows about that country. He also loves his Kallpachay friends and teachers. I too enjoyed talking to the teachers during pick up. Augustin is fluent in Spanish and Kallpachay was a big part of that accomplishment! I highly recommend this camp to any parents seeking a language immersion and cultural experience for their children.
My daughter absolutely LOVES this camp! We signed her up with two of her friends and they all had loads of fun, while also learning Spanish. We also love that they're generous supporters of her school, Micheltorena Elementary. We're fans for life!!